As technology has progressed in recent years, a range of new innovations have been introduced to the consumer market, with everything from refrigerators to watches being integrated into family life.
We take a look at what to look out for in the coming months and how smart tech can add a new dimension to your home and family’s way of living.
What is smart tech?
Nowadays, almost every home has a high-speed internet connection and a router capable of transmitting Wi-Fi throughout the house, enabling wireless online access at any time of any day.
While Wi-Fi access was once limited to laptops, smartphones and games consoles, the list of compatible machinery has expanded tenfold, with consumers able to control most aspects of their homes, from the central heating to the lighting.
However, while some innovations can certainly add value to family life, others may be considered fads, which is why it is best to assess the potential use of the technology before investing.
The first major use of smart tech in the home was Samsung’s Smart Home service, which launched in 2014 as a means of controlling appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and freezers through a smart TV or phone.
Although an impressive use of technology, its use was arguably limited as homeowners generally tend to keep their fridge-freezers at a specific temperature permanently, while washing machines have had the ability to be pre-programmed for many years.
It is fair to say that most people are conscious of their overall health, and - as such - being able to monitor this comprehensively can help to provide peace of mind as well as an effective means of boosting wellbeing.
Smart tech now extends to bathroom scales, which can track a person’s weight, BMI and progress over time, as well as blood pressure monitors that can be connected wirelessly, and smartwatches that can be worn on the wrist to monitor activity levels while also controlling the other apparatus.
After the huge success of the iPhone and IPad, much was made of the Apple Watch at launch, and while it has perhaps not had the same impact as its predecessors on the smartphone and tablet markets, it has nevertheless spawned a number of competitors and variants that have each had an impact on people’s everyday lives.
As well as the ability to use certain apps on the go, smartwatches can connect to equipment in the home such as that mentioned above in order to monitor everything from temperature levels to the number of calories a person has burned throughout the day. They also tell the time, believe it or not.
Although there is still a market for the traditional cuddly toy, the innovation that has been witnessed in the toy and game industry over the past two decades has been incredible, with almost every aspect of every toy being digitised.
Smart tech is no different in this respect, with everything from remote-controlled cars to toy helicopters including the function to control and monitor on a wireless device such as a tablet, smartphone or smartwatch.
Traditional licensed toys have also got in on the act, with the Sphero BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens having its own smart tech variant, which is controllable by iOS and Android on a range of devices, and even having a function to go off exploring on its own.