Unlocking the front door with your phone, dimming the lights with your voice and putting away the groceries ordered by your fridge – if that isn’t you yet, don’t worry. Despite the hype about the billions of connected devices that make up the ‘internet of things’, smart home tech has yet to go mainstream.

“I couldn’t even open the lockbox for my spare keys when I locked myself out of my house the other day,” one friend huffed as I conducted an unofficial survey of some school mums.

“How would I cope with a house full of smart gadgets. Doesn’t that actually create more work for myself?”

The other mums grunted in unison, although to be fair we were doing stomach crunches at a fitness class.

Creating a smart home needn’t be the domain of gadget lovers and geeks alone and it doesn’t have to be too difficult.

What you need to get started on a smart home:

  • A consistent Wi-Fi signal wherever you place your smart gadgets. Try a Wi-Fi mesh router if this is an issue.
  • A smartphone, tablet, smart speaker or smart speaker-enabled device (such as a new TV).
  • A little bit of time and patience to set-up the gadgets, but most are plug-and-play.

Smart home gadgets are operated in three main ways: via apps, via a smart assistant such as Google Assistant, Siri (Apple) or Alexa (Amazon) which lets you use voice commands; and via automation, which lets apps and devices talk to each other without you needing to act as the go-between.