Ideal Home Show 2018: 10 must-have smart gadgets

At this year’s Ideal Home Show, we took a closer look at some of the most exciting smart tech innovations...

22 Mar 2018



The Ideal Home Show is famous for showcasing the latest tech designed for all our homes. TV Presenter and gadget geek Lee Baldry took us through some of his favourite innovations of late…

1. Pepper the Robot

Pepper the Robot

We kicked off in true futurist style with Pepper, a humanoid robot created by Japanese AI giant Softbank. After letting Pepper himself explain his purpose on Earth, we got to see how he works.

A front-facing camera on his head can read human emotions through their bodily gestures, facial expressions and voice tone. 

He's a robot you can have around the home, but without the more physical domestic tasks – he provides emotional support and helps you get organised for the day ahead, so is perfect for elderly homes and office receptions.

Although not available on the market just yet, Pepper is another peek behind the curtain of the future as tech companies compete to win the battle of the AI robot.


2. Smart Speakers

Amazon Echo

Lee continued by comparing Pepper to the smartest affordable tech we have available in the UK right now – smart home speakers like Alexa and Google Home.

We saw the Apple HomePod and Sonos One, famous for their incredible audio quality and the Amazon Echo and Google Home which are more noted for their helpful connectivity around the house.


3. Philips Hue smart lighting

Philips Hue Starter Kit

As another addition to your smart home, you could have Philips Hue smart lighting - set the perfect mood whenever you feel like it through an app on your phone, or on request with your smart speaker.

From the Hue’s motion sensor that switches off the lights when you leave the room, to its ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT) settings which detect from your smartphone when you’ve left your house – the amount of energy saved makes it very efficient for your home.

Read more about IFTTT here


4. Nokia Health

Nokia Steel HR

Some of the best health tracking tech out there right now lies in the Nokia Health range. Combining the stylish Steel Watch with the Smart Scales and other health-monitoring tech lets you view all your key details on its Health Mate app and stay on top of your health & fitness.

We also saw Nokia’s Smart Thermometer, a stunningly clever bit of kit that you can swipe against your temple for over 4000 different measurements - giving you accurate and useful results on your temperature.


5. Bragi Ear Pods

Bragi Dash Pro

Bragi have been at the forefront of headphone tech for years. After releasing one of the first all-encompassing ear pods a few years ago, they have been constantly working on making sure you don’t have to leave your headphones behind for anything.

We saw some great evidence for this with the Bragi Dash Pro – smart Bluetooth ear pods that have gesture controls for answering phone calls, a heart rate monitor and – most impressively – an auto-translate feature that turns foreign languages into yours as they're spoken.


6. SwimAR

For those that love more than just a dip in the pool – these smart goggles use Augmented Reality (AR) technology to give you a live feed on your swimming performance.

Think speed, laps, time taken, location and your heart rate all helping your progress during your swim!


7. Tile tracker

Tile tracker

If you’re looking for handy gift for those friends or relatives who lose everything, this teeny Tile tracker can help.

Attach it to a valuable item and you can see its location through your smartphone. You can also call it and it’ll ring loudly so you know where to find your precious items.


8. Bluesmart suitcase

Bluesmart suitcase

Probably something you weren’t expecting to ‘go smart’ so soon – this futuristic suitcase from Bluesmart can link up to your smartphone and ease the hectic stress of travel.

Lock it and track it through your phone, and then use its in-built charger to replenish the juice once you’ve found it. It also comes with a nifty headlight, so you can see the way ahead at night.


9. DJI Spark drone

DJI Drone

Giving another demonstration, Lee showed us the incredible amount of tech that's built into this tiny drone.

With facial recognition and gesture controls, you’ll feel like a Jedi master when controlling the DJI Spark. If you’d prefer to take it out further away, though, you can drive it up to 1.2 miles away with its controller – be happy it has an ‘obstacle avoidance’ feature while it’s out of sight!


10. Sleep Cycle and Life Cycle

Not ‘gadgets’, per se, but equally capable in terms of helpful tech, these apps are designed to aid you in keeping track of your health and daily activities.

Open Sleep Cycle and place on the bedside table to have your sleep patterns collected into interesting data and set alarms to wake you in the lightest stage of sleep, so you rise feeling awake and refreshed.

Or use Life Cycle, which segments your daily activities into useful little chunks, so you can manage the time you spend on each individual task.


The Ideal Home Show 2018 finished on the 2nd April.


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