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5 bits of tech to change your life: From smart mirrors to self-watering plant pots

Five Internet of Things technologies that will change your life forever. Picture: Archant/Getty/ResMed/Monbaby/Parrot/Amazon

Five Internet of Things technologies that will change your life forever. Picture: Archant/Getty/ResMed/Monbaby/Parrot/Amazon

Archant/Getty/ResMed/Monbaby/Parrot/Amazon

The 'Internet of Things' as a phrase is increasingly bandied about on the high street but with little explanation.

In fact, it's simple: IoT-enabled devices are items that you wouldn't think of as 'tech products', but are linked to a network and can transmit data.

The East of England is well on its way to being IoT enabled, thanks to projects such as Norfolk County Council opening up a long range wide area network (LoRaWAN) to innovators and businesses to test IoT applications.

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The transmitters are connected to The Things Network, which is supported by Microsoft and provides connectivity for IoT devices.

Here are five of our favourite IoT-enabled products on the market today:

1. Smart Mirror

Smart Mirrors have display options which allow you to read your itinerary for the day while applying your make-up.

The mirror can show you the date and time, as well as the weather for your local area, train times, tube statuses, road traffic collisions, and other travel information.

On top of this the mirror is both Alexa and cloud integrated, meaning that you can control the mirror with your voice.

Because of its cloud integration you can also use any app from the mirror and set the time this app is displayed.

2. The SmartMat

This yoga mat has sensor technology which tells the user when their alignment or balance is out, and gives real-time feedback on how you correct their pose.

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The mat also links up with your mobile through an app, allowing customers to see their progress.

3. S+ by ResMed

The S+ is a device which sits on a user's bedside table and tracks their sleep.

Instead of having a physical tracker under your pillow or mattress, the S+ uses sonar, and those ultrasonic pulses can see straight through your blanket (and PJs) to monitor the movement of your chest as you breathe your way through the different stages of sleep.

The device also asks you how much caffeine you've had, how stressed you've been, and other factors that may impact your sleep.

This then feeds into the sleep tracking data, and via an app coaches users on how to get better sleep.

It also has a 'Relax to Sleep' function, which synchronises a sound with a user's breathing pattern to help them drift off.

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4. The Parrot Pot

This smart plant pot waters your plants thanks to a reservoir of 2.2 litres and sensors to tell when the plant's soil is dry.

As well as watering the plants the plant pot also gives users plant-specific advice via a mobile app, such as whether the soil needs more sunlight, a warmer or cooler temperature, and more fertilizer.

Because of these sensors green-fingered plant lovers can go on holiday for up to a month and know their plants are going to be looked after.

5. MonBaby

This is a baby monitor that snaps onto any piece of child's clothing that sends updates to parents about sleep positions, proximity, and breathing movements and fall detection.

It also updates parents on their baby's sleep cycles as well as fall detection for when your baby starts walking.

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