How your phone will soon control your entire house

The technology of today and the promise of tomorrow

One of the biggest ways connected devices can save your bacon is in home security. Cameras like Piper, Canary and Butterfleye can keep an eye on your home when you're not there using motion detection, and let you monitor the HD feed from anywhere.

Some, like LG's new Rolling Bot, also let you talk to your pets through the built-in speaker and microphone, and personal robots like Blue Frog's Buddy can act as sentries while also offering functions like video calling and calendar alerts while you're at home.

Buddy

Slightly offset by the worry this thing could kill you in your sleep

There are downsides to security robots, though: Dr Kevin Curran of the IEEE told techradar "There is always the risk of robots being hacked, so additional measures need to be taken such as implementing extra security authentication - perhaps facial recognition of the owner.

"There is a real risk of privacy invasion, especially in the case of a robot which has complete freedom to roam inside the house, so we have to ensure that the surveillance footage is securely stored."

Until we have to deal with rogue Robocops in our houses, though, there are less-scary suites for home security and monitoring available, including Samsung's SmartThings and Panasonic's Smart Home ranges.

Interestingly, Panasonic worked with insurance provider Aviva on its version, which includes window and motion sensors, indoor and outdoor cameras and an alarm. This partnership hints at potential home insurance savings in the future for people who have well-monitored smart homes.

So that's burglars covered – but what about the humble home fire alarm? You don't need to replace the whole system to make it smart: just install the Roost smart battery.

This WiFI-enabled 9V battery hooks your alarm up to the cloud so it can tell your phone when your fire alarm's blaring and you're not there.

At worst, it'll avoid annoying your neighbours, and at best it might just stop your home burning down. Not bad for $34.99 (about £25, AU$47).

The smart home of the future

While it might seem like there are already more connected home products than we could possibly keep up with, the truth is the market is still pretty fragmented.

In the future, we're looking forward to products from disparate manufacturers working together harmoniously. In fact, it's looking a lot like the future of smart homes isn't just appliances talking to you, but talking to each other.

Your washing machine letting the dishwasher know it'll be using the hot water for a while, your fridge asking your Amazon Tap to order some more mango juice, your cooker letting the extractor fan know it's burnt the chicken and might need some help with ventilation.

Nothing's perfect, after all.

Amazon TAp

Is Amazon about to control our entire life?

In smart home utopia, rooms automatically conform to your personal preferences, bills are as low as they can possibly be, and you never run out of snacks. Everything just works, with or without your input.

And if that all gets a little claustrophobic, well, you can always head out and leave the robots to it. Did you hear Tesla's just invented a way to summon your car from your smartphone?