11 Home Gadgets Ushering in the Digital Lifestyle

  • Posted on: 4 April 2010
  • By: chw staff

Our homes are changing in many ways; they are design different, automated and smarter. At the centre of this evolution is the digitising of how we communicate, entertain ourselves and interact with the appliances in our home. Within the next 5 years most of our broadcasting signals will be completely digitised.  Below are Eleven of these devices that I believe is ushering the digital lifestyle.

Game Console
: The game console started as a standalone device for kids, but over the last few years this as change to be more integrated and is now enjoyed by the whole family.  The game console is now being used for more than just gaming, so there is no need to switch between it and the computer.

PC/Laptop: PCs and laptops have been a part of our lives for a long time, and is now a household necessity.  Away from the usual composing of letters and emails, they are use to do our home shopping, keeping in touch with friends through social networking sites and a primary storage for our digital medias.

Home Media Storage: household are now consuming and storing the same amount of data as a small business and having a network attach storage (NAS) at home is now common place. Home Media Storage devices have become more sophisticated and user friendly. You can now access via the web from anywhere in the world and share your data to friends, family and work colleagues.

Routers and Gateways: The use of a 56k modem for internet access is more a thing of the past for most with access to broadband.  Our use of the internet is now an integral part of our lives and are doing more with.  The router and gateway have taken up from where the modem left off, they can manage the speed and is more sophisticated.

Mobile Smartphones: A lot of things have changed about the mobile phone; the most visible is the size and its capabilities.  The smart phone is the future of mobile phones they are use to browse the web send and receive emails, a mini entertainment centre and use to access and control our home appliances.

Powerline Ethernet
: The power socket is no longer used for only electricity the Powerline Ethernet Adapter changes it into a data port.  Using the latest Homeplug AV standard the adapters can transfer data up to 500Mbps.  With this speed and accessibility you can access the internet from any room in your home, and use it for some of the most bandwidth hungry equipment, such as Voice over IP, watch HD on-demand movie and online games.

Femtocell: Femtocell is a home networking equipment, but serves a different purpose. Femtocell was developed for homes that are in areas that have low mobile bandwidth access.  The Femtocell can transfer your mobile phone call and other wireless access through your broadband line, thus reducing your mobile phone calls cost and giving you better receptions.

Media Streamers/Players: These are among the most popular devices being sold now.  Although they blurred the line between themselves and set-top boxes, media players give you access to the best entertainment content the web has to offer.
Home Controls systems:  These have moved out of the realm of geeks and into mainstream home design.  Anyone building a new home or planning any major renovation will be installing some home control components.  Home control systems are more stylish, smarter and user friendly; with them you can control your entertainment systems and most of your household utilities such as lighting, air conditioning systems, appliances, alarm systems and heating.

Set-top Box: Set-top Box like home media players are being bought in record numbers. Set-top boxes have moved on from how they were 4-5 years ago; they have become more internet aware and are offering some of the services that were only done by laptops and PCs.  Like the recent TiVo release of the TiVo Premiere Set-top Box, which offer access to some of the latest media content from top web broadcasters.

Digital Photo frames: The digital photo frames unlike the others items in this list is not making a big impact but in its own way it is changing the way we display our photos in our homes. Since its launch it has become more versatile in its services, with technologies from companies like FrameChannel, digital photoframes with wireless access can display information from the web and well as photos.