As many Australians have rapidly adopted the use of a smart speaker or app connected lights, our actions with these devices are one to one and relatively transactional.
Sometimes the promise of the smart home where “things” will work together in harmony and truly impact our lives did not deliver. But in 2023 this is about to change.
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The tech industry came together and noticed that while each company was making smart, internet-connected products, having an app for each product, an unlinked system and a different language for everything was leading to a disjointed smart home.
The agreement was to create a thread between all smart things to enable smart home automation and wider compatibility to simply make this technology easier to adopt and use. It’s called Matter, and brands at CES are starting to highlight how it is being embraced this year.
Samsung is one of the first to lean into this new agreement by highlighting how its SmartThings system is now able to use and control hundreds of smart home products now, and in automated ways. The SmartThings app is available from any smartphone app store and comes built into the majority of Samsung products already.
Through Smart Things you can now view Ring and Arlo cameras on your Samsung TV for example, something that was not straightforward before.
When you consider the automation this connected ecosystem creates, however, it means that a routine focused on your pets could lead to a scenario that before you come home from work each day Smart Things will trigger the automatic pet feeder, have your JetBot AI robot vacuum clean the home, set the air conditioner to your desired temperature and turn on the air purifier to remove that dog smell. In the past this might have meant opening multiple apps on your phone, but in 2023 this is now brand agnostic where you can care about the “things” in your home you’d like to control and automate.
In 2023, it isn’t just the ecosystem controls to be excited about. There are some exciting products we’re paying attention to.
LG ARTCOOL Gallery
If you intend to install a new air conditioner in the home, the placement can be a struggle as they generally aren’t pleasant from an interior decoration point of view.
The LG ARTCOOL Gallery looks to fix this by making their unit look like a picture frame on the wall. This 27-inch frame has a digital display that can present artwork or photos, while also having vents on the sides to cool the home.
This might have you wanting to mount the air conditioner in the middle of the wall, which would actually provide better cooling, while looking good too.
Kohler Stillness Infinity Experience
The smart home certainly extends into the bathroom with voice controlled showers and toilets, but the bath is now a multisensory experience.
This freestanding bath brings together water, light, fog, and aromas to create an immersive journey of the senses designed to have you easily forget the world around you.
The bath can be lit in any colour, filled and emptied via a voice command and while it won’t overflow thanks to smart filling technology, Kohler does recommend the timber moat surrounding that acts as additional drainage if required.
Integrated into the smart home, you can start filling the bath via a voice command in the car and waste no time starting to unwind when you get there.
LG PuriCare Aero Furniture
Ideal for the living room as a side table or beside the bed, this is technology embedded into furniture.
Available in three styles, the PuriCare features a wireless charger in the top, air purification on the stand and personalised lighting.
All in one device, this product will keep the room looking neater with less visible devices, and the PuriCare can also be controlled from your smartphone or voice.
Samsung Bespoke AI washer
Studies have shown that the majority of Australians use fewer than three functions of their washing machine and don’t know the right amount of powder or detergent to use.
For environmental reasons, and to better care for your garments, Samsung has taken the guesswork out of doing the laundry. The AI washer detects the fabric types, analyses how dirty the garments are, weighs the load and then selects the correct wash type, uses a specific amount of detergent and gets to work.
An internet-connected appliance, the AI Washer could send you a notification on your phone when the load is ready and if you aren’t ready to take them out, the machine can gently tumble the load to avoid crushing and creasing your clothes further.
The Hub of the Home
The smart home can easily be controlled through voice, but the smart home is also easily managed through the TV remote.
The 2023 range of televisions from LG, Samsung and Hisense have been highlighting their levels of integration into the smart home. Sitting on the lounge and dimming the lights is easily handled through the TV menu, viewing who is at the front door and even triggering the robot vacuum can all be done during the commercial breaks.
Samsung has embedded the SmartThings service into its televisions, but it’s also part of their ‘FamilyHub’ fridges, meaning between the living room and kitchen, you’ve got quick access to control the home anytime.
Geoff Quattromani is the host of the Technology Uncorked podcast. Continue the conversation with Geoff on Twitter at @GQuattromani. Geoff travelled to CES in Las Vegas with support from Samsung, LG, Hisense and HERE Technologies.