Top 5 gadgets to turn your house into a smart home

Home Improvements 2018-7-26
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With all the new tech that is readily available, why not invest in some for your own home and see what it’s like living in the future?

With ongoing advancements and increasing affordability of technology, many of us now are investing in gadgets to help us with things around the house, from mowing the lawn to ordering our shopping. There are so many options available on the market today, we have decided to share our favourites to help you turn your house into a home of the future.


Robot vacuum

Price: From £59

Whether you’re tech obsessed or have just fallen out of love with housework, investing in a robot vacuum cleaner may just be the thing for you. With so many models available on the market to suit any budget, these nifty little gadgets are perfect for keeping your home clean with minimal effort - especially if you have children or pets.


  • You can schedule it to clean when you’re out of the house
  • They reach places which you can’t reach, such as. under the sofa
  • You simply press a button and off it goes, freeing up your time to do other things


  • Some models don’t like patterned carpets as this can affect their sensors causing them to not clean certain areas
  • You will still have to do the stairs with a traditional vacuum cleaner
  • Battery life can vary with some models only holding 2 hours of charge


Amazon Echo

Price: From £89.99


Alexa is now a household name, with many families having at least one of these products in their home. This virtual assistant created by Amazon can do everything from playing music andordering your weekly shop to controlling your thermostat, which can be a breath of fresh air with everyday life becoming increasingly hectic.


  • Controlled with voice commands leaving your hands free
  • With a 360° speaker, it can fill a small room with great sound
  • Alexa can be integrated with other smart devices around your home


  • Sometimes it can mishear what is being said and you may have to repeat yourself multiple times
  • No wireless charging or replaceable battery
  • As the technology is still relatively new, improvements are still required


Robot lawnmower

Price: From £495


If you find cutting the lawn a chore and put it off until the grass is above your knees, then why not invest in a robot lawnmower to do it for you? Most models are able to identify garden boundaries and obstacles with some even being remotely controlled from your smart phone leaving you with more time to relax.


  • Perfect solution if you have allergies
  • You don’t need to empty the cuttings into the bin as the mower cuts create mulch which is good for your lawn
  • When it needs charging, it returns to the charging dock without human intervention


  • The charging time on some models can be up to 16 hours
  • Safety issues if you have curious children or pets
  • Installing the perimeter guide to keep your mower on track can take up to 6 hours


Clocky – The runaway alarm clock

Price: From £20

If you’re guilty of hitting the snooze button one too many times on a morning then this little gadget is for you. Clocky is an alarm clock on wheels which jumps from your bedside table and will run away when it’s time to wake up. For the alarm to be switched off, you will need to get out of bed and catch it… perfect to stop you being late to work.


  • You have to get out of bed to turn it off – once you’re up you’re up!
  • There is no chance of sleeping through the alarm as it’s very loud
  • It’s cheap to buy with lots of colour options


  • It can be a bit easy to turn off once you catch it
  • When it rolls off your night stand, it may fall onto something and accidently turn itself off
  • Batteries are not included



Price: From £199

Leaving your dog at home is something all owners will have to do at some point but do you know what they are actually getting up to when you’re not there? Furbo is a dog cam for your home that allows you to check up on them from your smartphone and dispense treats for them as well as acting as a 2 -way communication system. You will also get text alerts if your dog is barking so it’s like actually being at home with them.

Added bonus: Connects with Amazon Alexa


  • You can check up on your dog when you’re not at home via the cam
  • There is a two way mic to communicate with your pet and dispense treats
  • It can all be controlled from a simple app on your smart phone.


  • The treat dispenser can get blocked if you don’t use the recommended treats
  • The sound quality isn’t amazing compared to other pet cams
  • You can only link one email address to your account so if family members want to login, you will have to use the same email


There are so many cool gadgets out there to make your life easier so why not let us know what your favourite is by tweeting us at @Hitachi_Finance or leaving us a comment on Facebook.

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.


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