This year’s trends in technology

by Andy Bryenton

With Auckland’s home show over and the home show in Whangarei just days away, companies who specialise in technology for the home are proud to present their latest and greatest and while we’re still waiting for robotic servants and flying cars, technology to make the home more comfortable is coming down in price.

The theme of 2019 seems to be connectivity, and it’s happening in different ways. First off the rank is ducted air conditioning, once the preserve of commercial premises and the super-rich, but now more than within the grasp of the average homeowner. With the ability to duct cool air into every room via remote or your smartphone, while retaining heat exchanging stale air for fresh in the winter, this new item is sure to be a hot ticket, especially for those who like their aircon unobtrusive.

Another ducted idea that is coming of age is the ducted vacuum cleaner system.

Once again, it’s a price drop and the advent of more powerful electric motors, which make this possible. There’s no need to carry a bulky unit around the home with this innovation; instead, there are ports in each room that accommodate a lightweight hose. The most advanced versions bag lint and dust away for easy disposal. Some can incorporate docking ports for robotic mini-vacuums, which scoot under furniture or disperse a pleasing scent as you clean.

Of course, the biggest tech ‘must-have’ right now is super-high-resolution television, delivered via ultra-fast broadband. However, for those who wish to experience the rugby in its purest form (outside the stadium), take a look at the latest in sound bar technology. Replacing old-fashioned surround sound with a system that can ‘read’ the shape of your room, then uses movable speakers to reflect and aim sounds for a natural, three-dimensional audioscape? That’s sure to prove popular, even after the All Blacks lift the trophy again. Team it up with ambient lighting behind the frame of your flat screen, and the action can fill the room.