Homes are getting smarter — consumers can now control everything from their thermostats to home security with a touch of an app. But for a large demographic, smart systems and appliances are simply unaffordable. That’s why we’re seeing numerous innovations bridge this gap by offering retrofitting options — a microrobot can now attach to regular appliances, so users can control them remotely via their smartphone or desktop. To a similar effect, Zuli’s smartplug utilizes Bluetooth to connect appliances to an app, so users can turn them on and off through context awareness.
Appliances can be set to power off at particular times, or activate upon the user entering the room. Table lamps can be dimmed to preferable levels, even if those lights don’t have dimmer switches, and sound systems can be set to play when a person enters the lounge. Users also receive information about energy consumption from each appliance, building up an understanding of where money can be saved on bills. Smartplugs even learn the user’s preferences over time, adapting to suit their routines and switching appliances off if the user forgets. Zuli are also planning for the future — smartplugs can receive upgrades via the app, ensuring users benefit from any software modifications.
What other ways can existing homes be retrofitted?