- Energy savers for the connected home
- How smart scales can help you reach your fitness goals
- Future smart tech predictions from the Hive team
There are a host of smart home products out there vying for your attention, all promising to make your life easier – but which ones are truly useful?
We asked two of the Hive product design and development team – Nicola Combe and Vanessa Mateus – about some of the top smart gadgets currently available, plus their predictions for the future.
Nicola Combe, Product Manager
Nicola predicts that one day all her sports equipment will be connected so it can tell her when something needs replacing or repairing. In the future, she’d like to see smart suitcases that prompt you to stop packing when you’re near an airline’s weight limit.
On smart scales
“There are so many smart scales on the market now, so it really all depends on what you want to achieve. Is it weight loss, muscle density or fitness?”
“I’ve used my smart scale for a number of things. At first it was to lose weight, then I started training for a marathon so I wanted to monitor my muscle gain and general fitness. Some smart scales can integrate with other systems to give you more detailed information and notifications on your fitness progress. You can also sync your smart scales to other exercise or food nutrition apps to help you reach your goal quicker.”
On smart heating
“For me, a smart active heating system like Hive Active Heating (a British Gas innovation) is a home essential. The ability to control my home’s heating and water system via the app is invaluable. Hive and other connected heating products allow you to suit your usage to your lifestyle.
“The feature I use the most is the boost button. If I’m away from home in the winter, I can just hit a button on my app and the heating will start to warm my home before I get in. Location alerts are also really useful as it lets me know if I’ve left the heating on once I’ve left the house, then I can use the app to switch it off.”
On smart home cameras
“I find my smart home camera really valuable because I go away a lot. Every time I go on holiday I put my cameras on so that I can keep tabs on my home and make sure all my belongings are safe.”
Vanessa Mateus, Lead Product Designer
Vanessa thinks the smart home of the future will involve drones flying around to collect her post and do all her housekeeping. She reckons that smart home tech will become cheaper and better integrated with other systems and products connected through synchronised controls.
On smart virtual assistants
“I couldn’t live without voice recognition smart technologies that you can just say commands to. I love being able to ask a device what the weather is without having to type on my phone to search for a weather report. It helps me cut down on all the time I spend Googling things.”
On smart lighting
“Hive Active Lighting is an essential piece of tech for me because I like being able to control my lighting when I’m away. From a security point of view, it’s really handy to be able to schedule my lights to pretend that I’m at home. My house is full of film production kit so that’s an important feature.”
“If you have kids at home, you can also time the lights to switch off after you’ve put them to bed.”
On smart cookers
“Life can get hectic, there’s always an email to send or something that needs doing so finding time to cook and share a meal with your family can be hard. To me, a smart cooker is pure convenience. If I’m having a busy day all I need to do is pop some food in the cooker before I leave for work in the morning and it will be cooked by the time I return. It can save you energy, but ultimately it’s a life changer because it saves you time.”
Find out more about life in the smart home with British Gas’s Smart Street