Our homes are getting more and more intelligent thanks to the little computers in our pockets—our smartphones. Companies are creating products that communicate with your iPhone or Android handset, letting you control and manage them with a few taps on the screen. You can get everything from a door lock to lights to an air conditioner to connect to your phone. Soon enough, we'll be living in robo-houses that will do everything for us.
August Smart Lock
Yves Behar, renowned designer of Fuseproject, has dipped his hands in the smart home space with the August Smart Lock. It's an electronic lock that recognizes when you're at the door, thanks to a Bluetooth connection with your phone, and unlocks. You can manage digital keys for friends and family, and track who is entering and leaving your house. The lock also has an auto-lock feature, so you never have to worry about accidentally leaving you home open to unwanted guests.
Photo by: August
Ambiance lighting will never be the same after you try the Philips Hue lighting system. Using a companion app, you can tell the lights to turn on or off at certain times, set them to specific colors, and manage them remotely. Philips even offers "Light Recipes," preset lighting settings for various purposes like relaxing, reading, and concentrating.
Photo by: Philips
Samsung Smart Care Washer
If you're the kind of person who forgets to start a load of laundry and only realize after leaving the house, Samsung's Smart Care Washer might be a good fit. It features an app that lets you remotely turn on the appliance and track its progress. And when you're home, you interact with the washer through an LCD touchscreen, accessing plenty of washing options and settings.
Photo by: Samsung
Belkin is in the midst of creating a smart home ecosystem with its WeMo lineup. It already includes a light switch, switch and plug, motion detector, and baby monitor—all of which you control through an iPhone or Android mobile app. You can program lights and the heater to turn on as soon as you walk through the door. Or make sure your coffee machine turns off after you've left the house. The WeMo line is modular, so you can set it up to do a number of different tasks.
Photo: Ariel Zambelich
In hot summer months, the air conditioner is a savior. Imagine if you could turn your air conditioning unit on 20 minutes before you get home, so your house is cool as soon as your arrive. With FriedrichLink, you can. Talk to your air conditioner through the app and you can turn it on and off from away, set all of the temperature controls and put together a customized weekly schedule.
Photo by: Friedrich
There is not other smartphone-controlled device as successful as the Nest thermostat. It is as the forefront of a new smart home industry, and looks amazing while at it. For more on the nest, read Dwell's previous coverage and check out how readers like you nest.
Photo by: Nest