Fatherhood: Review – O2 Smart Home (Pt 1)

January 3, 2017 at 1:55 pm

o2-smart-homeJust before Christmas, a lovely chap got in touch from O2, to ask if I’d like to take part in a home test/trial thingy for their snazzy new “Smart Home” technology.

Designed to connect and automate many of your regular tasks around the home, the start of Winter seemed like the ideal time to give this a spin, so I jumped at the chance.

If you aren’t yet familiar with the concept of “Connected homes” (much like I wasn’t), the idea covers a wide variety of technological applications – from Smart fridges that know when to order your shopping to automated lighting that knows when you’re in a room. I’m sure it’s much more complicated than that, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s where my current knowledge is at – ironically, I’m not very smart myself when it comes to this.

The tech that O2 have installed in our house concerns some of the more domestic sides of smart technology – which is pretty much the ideal place to start. If we’re all going to have “Smart Homes” in a decade’s time, it seems sensible to wean yourselves onto this with some of the more basic stuff.

img_5528So, a couple of weeks ago, another lovely fella from spent a few hours wiring up the following in our home:

  • An O2 Home hub
  • A tado Wireless thermostat
  • A Samsung security camera
  • A pair of Smart plug sockets
  • Open/Close sensors for the front and back door
  • An O2 Motion Sensor

He also spent a half hour showing me round the system, and demonstrating some of the clever things you can make it do. For instance, he showed me how to create a program (simply put, a sequence of events that lead to each other) which uses our phones to detect when we’re getting near to the house, switch the heating up, turn on a light in the kitchen and start the kettle boiling.

I’ve been asked to keep the system for a year to give it a proper test, so I’m sure I’ll be doing another post or two as I get comfortable with the system. Watch this space!

As it is right now, though, the installation just before Christmas has meant I’ve not had a proper chance to test it properly – short of setting up a custom heating timetable and freaking visitors out by turning the lights on and off without them seeing!


I’ve set the camera up in the kitchen for now, as it can keep an eye on one of the busiest rooms of the house – and one of the prime entrances for unwanted visitors. You can see what it looks like below – not a live picture, obviously, but it gives you an idea.

I’m really excited to try this properly over the next few months, and to really test out how I can make it work for us. The idea of “Smart” technology is usually to save you time, energy and sometimes money, and I can definitely see how this could do exactly that.

Here’s to a Smart 2017!