Five new tech trends to make your home better

  • 22/02/2018

Want your fridge to run the house while you relax and grab a cold drink?

Yes, it's now possible. Here's a look at the some of the coolest tech trends for 2018 and what will soon be commonplace in Kiwi homes.

Embracing voice assistants

Soon touching appliances or devices will be as prehistoric as scrambling for a floppy disk.

Google Home launched in New Zealand last year and the advent of voice assistants is making home automation easier than ever.

Asking your smart fridge to order you an Uber or your TV to search for a movie recommendation on Netflix is just the beginning.

They're not just voices either. Some have real personalities provided by writers from the likes of Pixar. With Bixby, Cortana, Alexa and co. on the scene, there are plenty of voice-solutions to choose from.

Google Home is powered by the Google Assistant, which means users can ask it questions and give it commands.
Google Home is powered by the Google Assistant, which means users can ask it questions and give it commands. Photo credit: Getty.

The rise of Artificial Intelligence

While you might be just getting used to your voice-activated smartphone intelligent assistants like Samsung's Bixby, pretty soon AI assistants will play a more critical part in linking all your smart devices together in the home.

With integration between a wider range of appliances and TV, our home devices will communicate together to seamlessly anticipate your needs and respond to your commands.

You'll be able to talk to your TVs, PCs and speakers, and image and voice recognition will give you customised preferences without you having to ask.

Think everything from coffee makers that know your preferences to speakers that remember you hate loud music during the morning but crank it up on Friday and Saturday nights.

Today's clever home appliances let you put your feet up while they do all the work.
Today's clever home appliances let you put your feet up while they do all the work. Photo credit: Supplied

Let the robots do the work

Remember Rosie the Robot Maid from The Jetsons? The 2018 version is here, kind of. Robo-lawnmowers, cute little powerbot vacuum cleaners and robo-washing machines are an option for today's families.

Automated appliances are smart enough to avoid your favourite antique lamp, return to base to charge themselves and even understand how to do their jobs more efficiently.

The new Samsung Q-rator app even lets washing machines recommend which cycle to use for what kind of clothing. It's not quite as cool as when Jane Jetson pressed a button to iron her clothes – but it's very close.    

Answer the door from your phone

Attentive dogs listening out for knocks to the front door may be a thing of the past. Smart doorbells let you speak to unwanted market researchers (or not) without even opening the door. They can record or display visitors in HD and even send video alerts to your phone if someone unexpected turns up on your doorstep. With wireless integration with other smart devices, answering the door in-person (or not) is easy!

Now there are TVs that double-up as works of art.
Now there are TVs that double-up as works of art. Photo credit: Supplied

TVs: Nothing to see here

It's a question people often grapple with: they want a TV in the centre of their living room but don't want a large black rectangle when it's switched off. With TV sizes continuing to expand, TV brands are looking at clever ways to blend in larger screens.

Samsung has introduced ambient screen technology on its QLED TVs that softly blends the display into the surface behind it – matching wall colours and wallpaper patterns. Similarly, the Frame TV uses an 'Art Mode' to disguise itself as a framed piece of art when not being watched.

This article was created for Samsung.