Smart Home: Top-Notch Technologies

By Yana Yelina

A growing number of houses contain systems designed to make life easier and more comfortable, thanks to the Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things is rapidly conquering the market, as more and more houses are being equipped with sophisticated devices and technologies aimed at providing homeowners with comfort, individualization and connectivity.

This fact is proved by statistics: In 2006, the number of IoT objects was 2 billion, and this figure is projected to reach 200 billion in 2020.

Moreover, according to Icontrol's "2015 State of the Smart Home Report," there was a rise in interest in smart homes among millennials (79 percent) and parents (76 percent), and 50 percent of the worldwide population is excited about this technology. Another 50 percent of owners (54 percent in the United States) say they plan to purchase at least one smart-home product within the next year.

Smart-home devices are quite diverse and serve different purposes. So, let's have a look at some of those technologies.

1) FridgeCam will become a great aid in putting in order an array of products. With this Wi-Fi-connected cam installed in your refrigerator, it is possible to check what you have in stock. Every time the fridge door opens, you get fresh snapshots of the available items and can control the amounts. Smarter Company also created a companion app that enables you to check the content pictures and get rid of expired products (thanks to timely notifications). You can avoid kitchen disasters related to unexpected warming in the fridge, thanks to the thermostat that tracks the inside temperature.


Beyond that, the device uses your phone's GPS to remind you when you're passing by the shop. And the photos of your fridge content, made by FridgeCam, release you and your family from the necessity of purchasing extra food, thus helping you to save money. Another notable feature is that the app can suggest recipes based on the number of ingredients you have, or make up a shopping list for future purchases.

2) Dirror, the first digital mirror in the world, will also make your home smarter. This device, loaded with Microsoft Windows 10, is intelligent and user-friendly. It doesn't matter in which room you are—you can relish Dirror's features.


Dirror boasts a voice control and a multi-touch screen. With this IoT product, you can tidy yourself and, at the same time, do a lot of other things, such as check your inbox, respond to messages, talk via telephone, listen to your favorite music to relax, plan your weekend activities, make "must do" lists and so on. The embedded apps also allow you to receive fresh news and forecasts, watch high-resolution pictures and videos, and schedule your day.

3) Whyd was created to allow users to play music in the most natural and human way, thereby delivering a delightful experience.


The egg-like speaker, which can be purchased in different colors, uses four 40-millimeter drivers to pull out sound in 360 degrees—and, thanks to a touch-sensitive button on top, you can control music with gestures. Whyd can also start playing your morning or evening playlist, obeying natural voice commands.

If you desire to diversify your playlists, you can download music to the Whyd speaker from a wide range of sources, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay, GoogleCast, Apple Music, Spotify, Sound Cloud, Google Play and Tidal.

4) Nest Cam is what an indoor security camera should be. With this cutting-edge device, you can keep an eye on what matters when you're out of home. Nest Cam plugs into power, taking away your worries about dead batteries.


Furthermore, you will never miss a thing, as the cam provides 24-7 live streaming and saves up to 30 days of footage in the cloud.

You and your family shouldn't have to constantly track what is going on via an app—when Nest Cam detects conspicuous sounds and moves, it sends a phone alert or an e-mail with an image from the scene. Don't panic if you miss an alert; the Nest app will allow you to view photos of activities from the last three hours.

5) SmartConnect Sleeper, a sweet dream machine from Fisher-Price, is a faithful companion when it comes to looking after children. The smart device can boast automatic rocking motions, music, sounds and vibrations that are controlled via an app downloaded on your mobile phone.


Other features include comfortable incline, head support and body insert, two rocking speeds and music volume control, naptime control, battery-free operation, a clacker toy and cord management.

6) Moorebot is an animated robot that can argue with Dirror about the "best personal assistant" title. Moorebot can obey orders, make pictures (thanks to a face-tracking camera), record videos, monitor the room remotely, report recent news, set reminders and take control of other smart-home items.


This robot can also be used for entertainment purposes: Users can get pleasure from Moorebot's jokes, music eyeball dance, games and more. Another distinguishing feature is that the robot has its own personality, a unique voice and an eye that opens wide when it's excited, closes when it's bored and blinks when it's not sure about one thing or another.

7) The Ecobee3 Smart WiFi Thermostat will bring comfort to your house.


As a rule, ordinary thermostats that control the temperature within just one room are supposed to provide comfort all over the house. Ecobee3 remote sensors, in turn, guarantee the correct temperatures in the rooms that matter most. Moreover, they keep an eye on the outside weather and provide the desired and optimal indoor temperature. The Ecobee3 system also takes into account the work of your ventilators and humidifiers, and regulates all necessary parameters within the house.

The thermostat tracks your presence at home and automatically changes the schedule (if necessary) to leverage comfort and save your expenditures. Moreover, you can expect to receive timely alerts and reminders about low equipment performance. At the end of the month, the system will provide a detailed insight into your heating and cooling equipment and help you to avoid additional costs.

The above is just a short list of IoT devices that can make your home smarter. But talking into consideration the fact that people spend a lot of time at their workplace, it seems reasonable to use some of these devices during working hours (Moorebot is a great example), or to expect some other novelties from experts in custom business applications development.

Yana Yelina graduated from Minsk State Linguistic University with a bachelor's degree in translation/interpretation (English, Spanish and Italian) and public relations. Since then, she has worked as a copywriter and journalist for a number of Belarusian companies. At EffectiveSoft, a custom software development company, Yana holds the position of tech journalist and writes about modern technologies, covering software-development practices in a broad array of business domains: trading and finance, e-commerce, education, health care logistics, etc. She can be reached online at You can also connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.