12 House Functions You Didn't Know You Could Control from Your Phone

Thanks to the Internet and ever-improving mobile technology, smartphones let you hold the world in your hand. You can video chat with a friend in Dubai, look up the latest hometown news no matter where you are, and find out what your favorite restaurant in Prague is serving up for dinner tonight. Recently, smartphones have been adding yet another feature to their already long list of offerings: home controllers. You may already know that your smartphone can work with systems like Nest and Iris to arm your security system, adjust the temperature, lock the front door, and turn the lights on and off, but we have dug up 10 other functions in and around the house that your smartphone can control that you may not have heard about—yet.

  1. GE Profile Series Wall Ovens with Brillion Technology

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    While they won’t chop the onions and marinate the roast for you, some GE Profile wall ovens are equipped with the company's Brillion technology, which lets you remotely turn them on, start preheating, and set the timer. On double ovens, you can even control each oven separately—a nice energy-saving feature that makes this appliance an especially fun and functional kitchen addition.


    Related: New and Notable: 10 Must-Haves for the Luxury Kitchen

  2. Sonte Window Films

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    Sonte is currently accepting preorders for its remarkable window film that goes from clear to opaque with a swipe of a finger. The film has a series of rod-like particles suspended in a fluid wedged between two plastic layers. When an electric current, controlled over Wi-Fi by a smartphone, passes through the particles, they align to let light pass through. Otherwise, the film is opaque. Welcome to the future.


    Related: Wow-Worthy Window Films: 11 Top Picks

  3. Whirlpool Washers and Dryers with 6th Sense Live

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    Whirlpool makes a line of appliances equipped with their 6th Sense Live technology, which is a feature of these “smart” washing machines. Not only can you control all functions of the machine from your smartphone or tablet and set up washing and drying schedules, you can also activate “Smart Nudges and Alerts” that will text you to let you know about problems like low water pressure.


    Related: Laundry Rooms We Love

  4. LG Smart ThinQ Refrigerator

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    Sure, you can run diagnostics and put this fridge into vacation mode from any Wi-Fi-enabled device, but this clever appliance can communicate with you too by sending temperature readouts and coordinated inventory and shopping lists to your phone. Too bad it won’t actually do the shopping for you.


    Related: Are You Smarter Than Your Refrigerator? The 12-Year Kitchen

  5. TopBrewer

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    Danish design company Scanomat has made coffee even more addictive thanks to their TopBrewer machine. All that sits on the counter is a sleek faucet and small metal disk where you place your cup; the rest of the brewing magic is hidden underneath. On your smartphone, just choose the type of drink you want and your sneaky, stainless steel barista will whip it up for you in a jiffy.

  6. OnSpa Wireless Hot Tub Control

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    When it’s cold outside, there’s nothing like a soak in a hot tub. But getting out there to raise the temperature can be a daunting task. Enter OnSpa. This wireless system allows you to use your smartphone to control your hot tub. You can operate the jets, set the temperature, and even stream music through the Bluetooth module. Just be sure to leave the phone outside the tub!


    Related: Free-Standing Tubs: Soaking Up the Luxury

  7. Cyber Rain Sprinkler System

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    The coolest feature of this irrigation system is its ability to connect to the Internet to check the weather and then adjust your watering pattern accordingly. Cyber Rain works with the sprinkler system you already have in your yard; it just replaces your current controller or timer. And, oh yeah, it can be programmed and monitored with your iPhone too!


    Related: Watering Well: 10 Sprinklers to Quench Your Garden's Thirst

  8. Wi-Fi Baby Monitor

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    Simply install the camera above junior’s crib or bed in the nursery, connect it to your Wi-Fi network and then, from any Internet-connected smartphone or computer, you can peek in on your little bundle of joy—and envy that peaceful sleep. The signal is password protected for security, and the system's night vision keeps everything visible no matter the time of day.


    Related: Kids Crammed In? 10 Great Ideas for Your Kids' Shared Bedroom

  9. Tap2Pass Garage Door Opener

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    B&G Interlock's first masterpiece was the Flash2Pass, a unique system that enables you to open your garage door by flashing your car's headlights. Now they’ve come up with Tap2Pass, which lets you open an automatic garage or gate by tapping a code into your smartphone. The system works over Bluetooth, but the inventors are currently developing a system that will use Wi-Fi technology for increased range.


    Related: 8 Easy and Affordable Garage Floor Options

  10. Petnet Pet Feeder

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    With one of these handy devices in your home, you can not only adjust your pet’s feeding schedule from your smartphone, you can also track your pet’s caloric intake on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and compare these stats with those of similar pets so you can keep your best buddy at his optimal weight. The company is taking orders now for delivery later in 2014.


    Related: How To: Create a Pet-Friendly Home

  11. WeMo Crock-Pot (and Friends)

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    WeMo products from Belkin already allow you to control light switches and outlets with your smartphone. Now the company will be bringing Wi-Fi control to small appliances made by Jarden Consumer Solutions, manufacturer of Mr. Coffee, Crock-Pot, and Sunbeam brands. Stay tuned! By this spring, you should be able to get your kitchen whipping up dinner before you walk through the door.

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