Step Inside the Hi-Tech Homes of the Future

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

If you've had a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is pull out the vacuum cleaner or come up with something creative for dinner.

Well, in the future, smart phones and tablets may well be your new best friends when it comes to getting stuff done around the home.

Take the LG "Hom-Bot" for example, which is already available around the globe.

It can now be controlled with a smart phone or tablet.

You can manually drive the device or set it to automatically clean one specific room.

The Hom-Bot also has a built-in camera which you can use to keep an eye on your home when you are away, all in real time over a Wifi connection.

"We've had the vacuum cleaner for a while but we added smart functionality which means that it can be controlled manually or automatically using any smart device. In this case I have the LG G2 here and I can get it to start running its cleaning programme from the phone," says Ken Hong, Global Director of Communications at LG, as demonstrates the technology.

"I can automatically set it so that it runs at any time I want or I can also come home, let's say, from work and see what part of the house it has cleaned before it decided to recharge. So there is a lot of things you can do here using Wifi and a smart phone.

"You can also use the phone to monitor the home via the camera that's built into the Hom-Bot and that allows you to of course to monitor to your home when you are away for a couple of days, see that everything is ok, that the cat's fed and so forth," he adds.

But Hong doesn't think that man will be replaced by machine - rather technology will just make life a little easier.

"In the future you are still going to have to put groceries in the fridge. You are still going to have to put clothes in the washer. That is not going to be automatic," he says.

"But, what will be automatic is, let's say for example, you have, you know, eggs in the refrigerator, it will know when those eggs will expire. Or milk, and it will let you know on your smart phone that you have maybe have two days left until you have to buy new milk."

Talking of food, Siemens has tackled the problem of not knowing what you have in your fridge when you are at the supermarket.

Their smart fridge takes a photo of the interior each time the door is closed.

The photo can be checked using the Siemens connectivity app.

"When I close the door, I see two photos, one from the interior and one from the door area. And I can see eggs, lemon, red pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes beer," says Stefan Vollmann from Siemens.

One you have checked what's on your shelves, you can then also ask the app to make dinner suggestions and to let you know what extra ingredients you may need.

The fridge is at concept stage right now but Siemens says they expect a version of it to be on the market in 2014.

It's not just smart phones and tablets which are set to help out around the home in future, but also the TV.

Samsung envisages home appliances being connected to the box via Wifi, so that everything can be controlled from the comfort of your sofa.

The air conditioning can be turned on, the washing machine can be set, the oven will even tell you when your pizza is cooked.

Diana Diefenbach, Marketing Manager, Samsung Home Appliances, says that by using this kind of system there's "no standing up anymore, no hassle" and "everything (is) wireless, free and very comfortable."

The only connected device from Samsung currently on the market is a washing machine that can be controlled with a smart phone.

More products are expected in stores next year.

So it seems, in the future, you won't have to worry about finding so much time to do the chores - thanks to the magic of technology helping to take the strain.

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