You’re on the train home after a gruelling day at work. No problem, just adjust your thermostat using your smartphone so there’s hot water ready for a bath when you get in. Feeling hungry? Signal the oven to start cooking the casserole you prepared earlier. Or perhaps you’re lending your apartment to friends while you’re away? Just send them a limited-use door code from your phone and receive alerts from automated security sensors when they arrive and depart.
After years of hype and eager anticipation, the so-called ‘Internet of Things’ has finally arrived, with more gizmos and gadgets hooked up to the web – and to us- than ever before. The trend towards ‘smart homes’ gained serious traction when Google acquired the startup Nest for $3.2 billion in January 2014, opening the door for other companies to push forward with inventions of their own. While we can all expect to enjoy the convenience of ‘automated homes’ in the not-too-distant future, these new technological developments will be of particular interest to the burgeoning peer-to-peer holiday rentals market. With that in mind, Wimdu has collected nine of the most exciting new devices on the market in their latest infographic, to give you a glimpse into the future of apartment living.
Take the August Smart Lock, which is making the eternal quest for lost keys a thing of the past. Similar to the ‘key cards’ used in the hotel industry, the Smart Lock detects your phone and automatically opens the door and locks it behind you. It also lets you invite people over through your phone and issue them a ‘key’, which is valid for a limited period of time. Ideal for holiday rentals, it removes the inconvenience of having to hand over a set of keys to your guests in person. But how to keep track of when your guests arrive and depart without becoming a nuisance? That’s where the Canary System comes in. Using a 147 degree wide-angle lens, Canary monitors your daily routines (when you leave for work, when you return etc.), and notifies you of any unusual behaviour. Alerts sent directly to your mobile allow you to stream live from your apartment, contact the police or dismiss the notification at the touch of a button. While this has obvious security benefits, it’s also perfect for rentals, allowing you to oversee when guests arrive and leave like a smart check-out desk.