Written by Hugh Metcalf

5 smart home gadgets for tech novices

Want to give your house a hi-tech makeover? Tech journalist and presenter of The Gadget Show, Georgie Barrat explains some of the ways you can connect your home, even if you are a gadget novice.

Intro image: John Tekeridis, Pexels

Grey scheme kitchen with Beko Autodose -living-room-goodhomesmagazine.com

Images: Beko

If you’re new to smart home technology, the idea of having a completely connected home can seem daunting. Whether you want to save time or want extra home security, smart home gadgets are clever, convenient, and handy devices that can make your life easier and more secure.

A photo of tech journalist and The Gadget Show presenter, Georgie Barrat wearing a blue and white striped shirt -living-room-goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Crown Talent

We caught up with journalist, presenter and tech expert, Georgie Barrat to discuss her favourite smart home tech devices, and her top tips for creating a connected home – even if your level of tech knowledge isn’t so high.

Smart Speakers

Google Home Hub on sideboard with a pari of glasses and vase of lavender

Image: Google Home

‘If you haven’t already got the likes of Alexa or Google Assistant in your home, then a smart speaker is a great way of bringing your house well and truly into 2019. These speakers come with voice-controlled personal assistants allowing you to control it with your voice.

Ask it to play a song, tune into your favourite radio station or hear the news. You can also do things like set a timer whilst baking your tartiflette, check on the traffic before you head to work or add something to your shopping list whilst putting the wash on. The beauty of smart speakers is that you operate them completely hands-free, which means you don’t have to track down your phone or wipe your hands. Perfect for busy family households.’

Smart Home Security Cameras

nest camera iq outdoor on a white washed brick wall

Image: Nest

‘Connected cameras link up to an app on your phone giving you a live stream of the inside or outside of your home wherever you are in the world. They continuously record, typically storing the footage onto the cloud for a week, and send you push notifications if the motion sensors are triggered.

This is not only perfect for giving you peace of mind, but also it’s a nice way to check-in on any pets you might have or stay connected with your family. When I’m travelling a lot with work, I love taking a peek at my kitchen to see what chaos is unfolding!’

Smart Lightbulbs

ikea smart lighting tradfri collection

Image: IKEA Tradfri collection

‘I’m the queen of mood lighting – my lounge alone has five lamps! The beauty of smart lightbulbs is that I can control them in unison via my phone. It requires a little installation and fiddling around, but once they are setup you can program them to be on timers, change the hue of the light and even link them up to your smart speaker so that you can control them with your voice.’

Kitchen Appliances

Grey scheme kitchen with Beko Autodose -living-room-goodhomesmagazine.com

Images: Beko

‘There are a huge range of connected kitchen appliances. From ovens that you can start heating up on your way back from the gym, to kettles that boil when your morning alarm goes off. Beko has also just launched Europe’s first connected AutoDose dishwasher, allowing you the flexibility of putting the dishes on when you’re out and about. It also sends notifications if you need to clean your filter or order more detergent.’

Smart Doorbell

nest hello smart home doorbell with camera

Image: Nest

‘If you’re a household that seems to be taking a lot of Amazon or ASOS parcels then a smart doorbell is a must. Anytime anyone is at your door you receive a notification allowing you to see who’s at the other side of it.

If you’re out you can speak directly to the person via your phone, giving them instructions as to when you’ll be back or the best place to leave your parcel. Some smart doorbells need to be hard-wired in, others use rechargeable batteries. A smart doorbell has the added benefit of being a security camera, recording any activity detected onto the cloud.’

 

Which gadgets would you give your home a hi-tech makeover with? Let us know by Tweeting us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.

 

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