Panasonic brings a cheap and easy way to smarten up your dumb home

Panasonic announces a smart home starter kit for £130

Panasonic has launched a smart home system in the UK, aiming to simplify the process of connecting and controlling devices around the house.

The system is largely aimed at families, with a home hub, two-way cameras doubling up as baby monitors, sensors to make sure windows and doors are closed and energy saving smart lights which switch off when you leave a room. The focus is on security but a one-stop app will give you access to cameras, sensors, lights and sockets.

Must read: How smart security systems can make you safer

Prices start at a reasonable £129.99 for a starter kit (hub, motion detector, window sensor) and can rise as high as your budget and scope will allow. For £229.99 you'll get a hub, connected camera, two window sensors and a smart plug. The kits will be available to buy from 17 July from Currys and Panasonic.

Panasonic reckons its DECT ULE connection technology is a big part of what sets it apart from other smart home devices. It is promising a quick and easy set-up, secure networks and a reliable connection over a distance of up to 300m.

"So far the industry has focused on producing smart devices with one, specific application," Justin Burnell, sales and marketing manager for Panasonic smart home, said. "But what people really want is a system that helps simplify their life, not complicate it further."

"How many times have you wondered if you closed the bedroom window, or if your teenager made it home safely from school?" he added. "With the Panasonic Smart Home system you can check quickly and easily from your smartphone or tablet."

So far we've seen a lot of expensive designer smart home tech with prices which can get quite off putting for early adopters without the cash to connect the whole house at once.

Panasonic isn't alone in creating affordable, user-friendly smart home devices, Ikea has slipped tech into familiar form-factors and a number of different smart home security systems have flooded the market.

Has Panasonic created a product worthy of a place in our homes? At prices as competitive or cheaper than smart cameras such as Netatmo and Nest, it's worth keeping an eye on.

Have you taken the smart home plunge? Does the Panasonic tempt you? Let us know in the comments or head over to our new Forum to talk about it.


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