For many people the lounge is the centre of the house, where all the actual living gets done — from family get-togethers to movie marathons that last well into the night. So there's no surprise that it's an increasing focus of the smart home.
There's a growing number of connected products aimed specifically at the living room, covering entertainment, climate control, automation, mood and more.
Essential reading: Wareable's smart home hub
With that in mind we felt it was time to rundown the best bits of kit for this most important of rooms. Treat yourself to an upgrade and you'll find the smart living room of 2015 is about much more than just a television with built-in Netflix.
The WeMo range covers everything from smart lights to baby monitors but on this occasion we've picked out the Insight Switch for your plug socket. Anything you can plug into a wall outlet you can control with the WeMo Insight Switch. Whether it's scheduling television time for the kids, turning on the lamp from your sofa or making sure you're not wasting power from all those devices on standby, it's a super smart addition to any living room.
Misfit Flash Link
The Flash Link is the most recent product from Misfit and it's essentially a repurposed Flash fitness tracker with added remote control capabilities. You can hook up a Flash Link to control your music, dim the living room lights or activate your entertainment system using the supplied smartphone app, and you can even have several buttons positioned around the living room to take care of different tasks.
Hunter Symphony and Signal ceiling fans
Hunter's new Wi-Fi enabled Symphony and Signal ceiling fans work with Apple HomeKit. Siri control is included, of course, as is integration with other HomeKit products that enable you to create scenes for your home, harmoniously syncing the lighting and cooling for bedtime, for example.
Logitech Harmony Elite
Logitech's Harmony Elite Remote has been upgraded to enable you to control smart devices such as the Nest thermostat and the Philips Hue lighting range, so you can change the temperature and lighting while you channel hop.
With a 2.4" touchscreen built-in it's easier to navigate devices in the home, and there's even an app so you can do it all from your phone, if the remote slips down the side of the sofa.
The UK's paid-for satellite TV service as gone smart with its Sky Q update. The set-top box actually creates its own mesh network (very smart home) to allow for Fluid Viewing around the home, which enables you start switch viewing seamlessly between devices. The mesh side is handled by AirTies, and is designed to penetrate the stone interior walls in the UK which is often the foil for Wi-Fi signal.
From £44/month, sky.com
US-only for now, the Echo wants to be the centre of your smart home — sit it in the corner of your living room and you can have it read out audiobooks, give you the latest sports scores and answer your questions ("what other films has Tom Cruise been in?"). It can stream music from several different services and is compatible with other smart home kit like the Philips Hue lighting system.
Philips isn't the only company with a line in smart lighting but it has the best and most established range on the market right now: from glowing bowls you can place anywhere to bulbs that screw into your existing sockets. We've seen movies and video games that can sync with Hue lights, and if you add IFTTT integration on top you can pre-set moods for watching movies, eating takeaway off your lap or entertaining friends.
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