Now that this long hot summer looks set to be over, we’ll be spending more time inside. This is the perfect time to give your interior space a little spruce up, ready to escape from the cold weather. Whether you’re planning on decorating this upcoming bank holiday or heading out to the shops, I’ve rounded up some of the latest technology which is perfect for the lounge.
The lounge has always been the focal point for innovative technology. When it comes to smart technology, there are many devices focused around entertaining. I’ve picked out some new (and coming soon) products which can help with entertaining, controlling your smart devices and little things to make your lounge look great – without having to do the hard work.
Let the robot do the hard work
To help get your house spick and span, a robot vacuum cleaner is definitely well worth considering. I’ve had a robot vacuum cleaner for about 5 years now and although it’s getting a bit old, it still works really well. Mine is actually made by Neato Robotics, it’s just branding another company.
The new Botvac D7 Connected is a top of the range robotic vacuum cleaner. It thoroughly cleans your floors, sucking up stuff you don’t see deep in the pile of carpets. What I love about Neato is that it doesn’t bounce around the house endlessly, it uses lasers to map out the layout of the room. I love watching it do this! If it needs some more charge (it can last up to 120 minutes on one charge), it will automatically return to its dock. Once it has more power, it will return to where it stopped.
This model can connect to your 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi at home. This means it automatically receives new features and capabilities through software updates without you having to plug it in. Also, if you have an Amazon Echo, you can simply say “Alexa, ask Neato to start cleaning”. Or if you’re out and want it to vacuum before you arrive home, start cleaning using the Neato Chatbot or via the app. This is the stuff of dreams!
Keep your device ready
Now onto something a little bit different. We’re always needing our smart devices to hand and if you’re like me, I always forget to charge my tablet. So when it comes to streaming my favourite programmes to Google Chromecast, I need my tablet plugged in. What if you could easily place your device to charge and for it to look neat? Queue Waalflower!
This is a wall mounted wireless charger for tablets, keeping your devices accessible and always powered. I love this idea and as my sofa is beside a wall, I definitely need this! You can attach the dock with adhesive or screws, then clip on the adaptor that sticks and plugs into the back of your device. Both parts house magnets which keep your device secure.
There are so many uses for having your tablet wall mounted. Whether it’s in the lounge with all your smart apps ready to control, or in the kitchen when you’re following a recipe. This is a great product and I’m really looking forward to it launching on Kickstarter this October.
Strong WiFi where you need it
Why is it that most routers are connected in annoying locations. If your router has built-in WiFi, this can cause so many problems trying to get a good signal around the house. There’s nothing more annoying when you’re sitting down streaming a movie on Netflix and it starts to buffer. Seriously, who needs that?
If your lounge suffers from low WiFi signal, the dLAN 550+ Wifi Starter Kit by devolo is ideal for you. Using the electrical wiring in your home, it delivers a super-fast network of up to 500 Mbps, perfect for HD streaming and internet browsing.
Setup is easy, plug one adapter into a power outlet near your router and connect with an ethernet cable. Now plug the other adapter where you have low signal and they’ll connect together. The adapter will broadcast WiFi where you need it and if you need to connect up your TV via ethernet, plug one in from the adapter to your TV. If you don’t fancy ethernet cables running all around the house, this is the ideal setup!
Physical keys? No thanks!
So you’ve got your feet up on the sofa, blanket over you and what’s that, the doorbell? Why does it happen at the most annoying time? This isn’t exactly something for the lounge but can be a huge help with entertaining so I just had to include it. Klevio is a smart intercom that lets you open doors remotely with your phone and removes the need for physical keys.
So how is this different from other brands? One of the biggest benefits is that it can also control communal doors, perfect if you live in an apartment. The device is fitted inside your flat, so will replace the usual telecom and nobody will know you have it, just you.
You won’t need to change your locks either. If your door needs one, the installation team will retrofit an electric strike onto your existing lock, with no changes to the communal area. As this is set up for you, all you need to do is install the app and you can start letting people in with just your phone!
Flood your room with colour
I’ve featured LIFX in many previous smart home technology posts. I’m a huge fan of the brand and they’re products. Compared to other smart lights, LIFX is so easy to set up and doesn’t require a hub. So if you haven’t checked them out yet, head on over to their website!
New to the range is the LIFX Beam. Rather than a bulb to put into a lamp, this is a piece of decoration on its own. It’s made up of 6 LED strips per kit which are simply clipped together. Choose your location, and attach them to the wall, ceiling or wherever you wish.
Once plugged in, set up the LIFX Beam using the app and connect to your WiFi network. You can then easily change the colour of the LIFX Beam from in the app. There are 16 million colours and blended whites to choose from. It also works with your home assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assitant, Apple HomeKit and Microsoft Cortana. Perfect for movie night!
Control your smart tech easily
If you’re like me and you have multiple different smart home products dotted all around the house, it can sometimes become a bit of a nightmare trying to control them all. There are so many different apps and it’s easy to forget which device is on what app – ahh!
This is where the NEEO Remote comes in. This remote is designed for your smart devices and works with all major AV products. With a quick and easy setup, you can be controlling your TV, lights and everything in seconds. Great when you’ve got all your friends over for movie night.
The remote is incredibly good looking with its aluminium body and a beautiful 291 ppi display, that’s more pixels per inch than Apple’s standard Retina Display. There are just a few physical buttons – only the ones you really need and the battery can last for over a week on one charge. This is now on my wishlist that’s for sure!
Must-have for movie nights
If you love the idea of watching your favourite movies on a huge screen but don’t fancy having a huge TV sat in your lounge, you’ll love this! The Epson LS-100 Laser Projector is a Full HD ultra-short-throw home cinema projector. Unlike other projectors that need to be set back, sometimes in the middle of the room, this projector can sit on a sideboard in front of a wall and project a screen onto the wall behind.
The display is flexible that can range from 70 to 130 inches, perfect for watching the latest blockbuster or gaming. You can connect your DVD player, games console and more as this includes three HDMI inputs.
What’s even better is the long-lasting laser light source. It’s designed to last for 10 years and also comes with a five-year warranty. You’ll also be impressed with the picture quality as it produces lifelike images with 4,000 lumens.
A very smart speaker
No lounge technology set up is without a good sound system. The new Sonos Beam is packed full of smart tech which sets itself apart from the competition. The compact and versatile design is great for any size of room and can be placed on furniture or mounted on the wall.
The Sonos Beam also has Amazon Alexa built right in. Simply ask Alexa to turn on the TV, change the volume and many more skills. What’s more, if you have other Sonos speakers in the house, they can also play what you’re watching so you never miss the action.
Using the app, you can play music from your favourite streaming services such as Google Music, Spotify, Apple Music etc. The Sonos Beam is more than just a speaker for watching movies. Lastly, it comes in black and white to easily fit into your home decor!
Heat your room in style
If your room is a bit on the chilly side in the winter, the brand new BioSari Marble Infrared Heater is something that not only looks good, but it will keep you warm and comfortable. It works like a storage heater but looks 10x better than the ones that come before this.
Featuring slices of Mongolian marble which has been embedded with heating elements, this makes it a fantastic and extremely efficient heater available. It emits 30% more infrared rays than any other type of heating element.
The heater comes with an adjustable thermostat and is completely silent. I love the sleek contemporary look of this and you’ll definitely get compliments from visitors about it!