When Marty McFly travelled to the year 2015 in the 1989 movie Back to the Future II, he was mesmerised by, self-tying shoelaces, flying cars and video-calling. Well. We are still some way off the skies being clogged by car traffic. However, we’ve definitely nailed FaceTime and Skype. Also, our homes are getting smarter by the minute. Soon all we’ll have to do is get out of bed and our gadgets will take care of the rest. Take a look at some of the best innovations on the market in 2016.


Discovery IQ Oven. Image: Dacor

The Android Oven

Want to turn down the heat on your roast chicken whilst in the bath? A whole range of clever cookers have burst onto the market. Take the Dacor Discovery oven, which features an easy to navigate LCD display which links to the Discovery IQ controller cooking app. This boasts a selection of interactive cooking guides and recipes. Rushing home from work and need to input a quick family favourite? The Android system includes pre-programmed dishes and adjustable timings. You can even program the oven to cook food remotely from any Android device. Then…ting! You’ll receive a notification when something is nearly done. No charcoaled surprises here, Chef.


Nest thermostat

The Smart Thermostat

Do you often mistakenly leave the heating or air conditioning slaving away in your absence? Or awake feeling hot and bothered by a badly set unit?

There are now a range of intuitive devices on the market to create the perfect climate for your home. The Nest Lab thermostat automatically adjusts to your rhythm as you live your life and the seasons change. After manually using it for one week, it is able to automatically program itself to your habits (however odd they might be). It will lower your energy bills and keep you feeling temperate all year round.

It is also simple for anyone to install – it only takes about half an hour.


Hue talking to me? 

Smart lights are a supercharged take on the dimmer switch of old. New products such as the Phillips Hue let you control your lights from your backyard, or different rooms. They can be automated so that they welcome you home, or switch off automatically when you leave. Activate a program to create a subtle, imperceptible shift in the atmosphere at a pre-ordained time (perfect for date night). Lights can be synced with music for a completely holistic experience. Different light shades can be selected from the app to energise your body with light therapy. For example, white light first thing on a winter morning.


Create incomparable atmosphere with smart lights. Image: Gizmodo

Need some mood music? Tell your sound system

Whilst bluetooth sound systems have been around for a while, the new generation of voice-activated products is more sophisticated and intuitive. Take the Amazon Echo, which syncs with Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora and a host of other popular music streaming services. Just whisper the word ‘Alexa’ and the device springs to life to take your request. This home DJ can not only play music but stream podcasts, set alarms and give you a weather and traffic update. Just remembered something for work? You can also make a to-do list. Think of it as a PA who can also spin some tunes. It can also connect with other products like the Nest thermostat and Phillips Hue lights, making it into a central hub control for your smart home.

Don’t get left behind. Decor + Design 2017, 20 – 23 July in Melbourne, will feature some of the newest innovations for the home, including leading lighting providers. Subscribe now to stay in the loop on upcoming exhibitors and show features.