Your house is getting smarter - and your phone is the brain

The technology of today and the promise of tomorrow

Warming up the home

Behind the scenes things such as your general toastiness are also getting a smart overhaul. Honeywell's evohome system allows you to create up to 12 thermal zones in your home which can be controlled individually, so you're only heating the rooms you're using and then only when you need to.

To make things even easier both the heating and hot water can be turned on and off from a smartphone app.

Google has raised temperatures by buying out Nest and offering the smart thermostat through the Google Play store; the company also has a new Nest Cam for sale if you want to keep an eye on your house while you're away.

All of these devices use apps to control the devices when you are both in and away from the home. In Europe Google is being closely tailed by tado - a heating app that promises to reduce your heating costs by 26 per cent.

Even British Gas have got in on the action with Hive. There are subtle differences between all of these systems, but the common thread is enabling you to set your home heating from your smartphone, and even having it adjust automatically without any input from you.

Smart security

Alongside living rooms, kitchens and heating, home security has also been revolutionised by smartphones.

SkyBell
SkyBell lets you see who is at the door before you open it

Alarms, motion detectors, cameras, doorbells, locks and more can all be controlled by smartphones now. Take the SkyBell. When someone rings your doorbell you can get an alert on your phone and see a video feed of them. You can also talk to them through your phone and it works wherever you are as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection.

So whether you're in the bath or on holiday you can still keep track of who's coming to your house and even communicate with them, giving you security and peace of mind.

Then there's the Canary security hub, which is an all in one security device complete with an HD night vision camera, a microphone, a motion detector, an alarm and temperature, humidity and air quality sensors.

And it's smart too, gradually learning about the environment of your home so that it's better able to differentiate a genuine threat from something harmless. For example a sudden, dramatic temperature change could indicate a fire, but if you live somewhere that's often very hot it will be smart enough to not keep alerting you about the heat.

When it does alert you about something you'll see details of it on your smartphone and can choose how to respond, whether that's by ignoring it, making a call, sending a message or triggering the alarm. Even when there aren't any alerts you can always access Canary remotely from your phone if you just want to check on things.

Canary
The Canary security hub can sense changes to air temperature

We've already mentioned Google's Nest Cam, and Piper is another up-and-coming home security system that's simple to install, easy to use... and powered by your smartphone. They give you control from wherever you are, just as long as you've got your mobile with you.

The setup cost is a stumbling block for some of them, but once you've overcome that they bring you a long way towards having a truly connected home, empowering you to do things you never could before, be it freeing your music or keeping an eye on your home from afar.

But this is just the beginning, as work is being done to make household devices even smarter in ways which could revolutionise the home.