Keeping it clean: IoT enabled chore cheats

By | 3 minute read | September 29, 2016

leadspace image of a full rubbish bin suggesting cleaning is a chore

Personally, I’m a little over-the-top about cleaning. Over-flowing laundry baskets and grimy counters bug the hell out of me and spending time cleaning is a chore. But whether you’re a clean freak or would prefer to avoid the loathsome task altogether, here are a few IoT-enabled cheats to make life a little easier.

The smart vacuum sucks

Just kidding. It’s a pun, obvs. These awesome gadgets can be controlled remotely via Wi-Fi connection and hoover your floors with minimal input. The knee-tremblingly named Samsung POWERbot Turbo Robotic Vacuum (wow) pairs with an app whereby users can create a virtual map of their home and pick specific rooms for cleaning. You can schedule particular cleaning times or just switch the vacuum on or off via the app. Easy peasy and a chore no more. It comes with a whopping price tag though – you’ll need to part with $1199.99 for one of these.

Cleaner air – a chore no more

Tobacco smoke, pollen, moulds, chemicals and the dog’s flatulence need bother ye nae more thanks to the latest smart air purifiers. The Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier, for example, has an ultra-fine filter that cleans up pollutants before circulating air round a room. The Dyson Link app for IOS and Android lets proud purifier owners monitor the air quality, humidity and temperature from afar, as well as start the fan remotely and set a schedule to clean the air.

Smart washing machines

What’s a clean home when you’re wearing last night’s pants again? Save us, oh smartest of washing machines! Seriously though, these are great. Built-in Wi-Fi and software shares data with – you guessed it – an app – which allows you to remotely control wash cycles, track energy and water usage and get alerts when your cycle is done. There’s predictive maintenance troubleshooting too to let you know when particular components are on the blink.

Incentivising apps

For those who need a friendly nudge (or a kick in the backside), there are user-friendly apps to bug you into your chores. You can design a schedule to accommodate frequent chores, share tasks with housemates and win prizes (virtual ‘gold stars’) for competed chores. For those in need of the cruel-to-be-kind approach, ‘Unfilth your Habitat’ is a good bet. It comes with the tag line “terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes” and a blue streak, so not one for the kids. They might prefer video game style ‘EpicWin’, an app which combines cleaning with adventure quests, complete with loot gains, dramatic soundtrack and avatars. Each quest is akin to a household task, and completing it moves your character further along their route.

The cop-out option: let your cleaner in without a key

Of course if you really can’t be bothered (or don’t have the time – let’s be fair), a cleaner might be the option for you. If you don’t fancy handing over a key, you could try connected door locks – an access control feature to let you know when someone’s at your door so that you can let them in via a mobile app. Authorized users can share access with others, or remotely lock or unlock the door on a one-time basis. And when it comes to getting in yourself, Bluetooth proximity sensors can sense your smartphone and unlock the door for you once you’re near enough. Voilà.

Curious about other connected household devices? Take a look at Peggy, the smart clothes-peg that prompts you to take your washing in when it’s dry, or realise the potential of the smart home by capturing unused device data.