It's happening quickly; our in-hand homes are getting out of hand. The growing availability of connected appliances and gadgets may bring convenience that is always at our fingertips, but it also brings clutter. Not necessarily physical clutter, but the kind of clutter that dominates tablets and smartphones everywhere: app clutter.
Whether we're talking about entry systems, lighting, or thermostats, smart connected appliances require an app to control them. This of course is what makes them convenient; being able to control everything by tapping on a few icons has been a dream since at least the first remote control click-clacked its way into television channel surfing. And not unlike television remote controls of yore, as time went on, increasing control brought with it layers of complication.
Looking to rein in the growing stable of smart gadgetry is the Revolv Smart Home Solution Wi-Fi Hub ($299; available this Fall). Designed to be a central control for a wide variety of devices, the hub plugs into a standard electrical outlet and connects to a home's existing Wi-Fi network. Through its free cloud connectivity service plan and associated app, the hub will be the one device in the house that can control everything.
One app to control everything may be the ultimate dream and it keeps getting closer. The company boasts that in the coming months it will be compatible with "95 percent of commercially available devices," with many already capable of communicating with the hub (including the Sonos music system, Philips Hue wireless lighting, and Yale automated locks). User created actions take the control even further. For example, events can be triggered not only by time of day, but also by location, actually making it easier to control everything than with a push of a button.