The smart home isn't just about a speaker that responds to your voice, an outside light you can click on from the other side of the world or a camera that warns you when someone's by the front door.
It's all those things, but it's also about your well-being, and about letting slick gadgets inform you and help make your home the healthiest, most calming place it can be.
Recently, there have been significant scares about the damage that chemicals can do in the home, such as spray cleaning products which can irritate the airways or worse. It's important, then, to be aware of exactly what environment we're living, breathing and sleeping in. After all, it's not just about the smell. Plenty of the worst gases are odourless, such as carbon monoxide, which can prove lethal in the most extreme situations.
First of all, don't stress about it - that'll only make things worse. Open a window. Even in a city, strategically opening the window for ten minutes can stop indoor pollutants building up, and good ventilation even for a short time can bring indoor atmosphere back to safe levels.
Second, work out how to take charge of the VOCs in your home. VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds, which are chemicals found in furniture, detergents, plastics, and many other products. They can also be produced by cooking. They're harmless, providing they don't build up to high levels.
The Elgato Eve Room may help. It's small plastic box, 3-inch square with curved corners. It quietly sniffs the room for VOCs as it monitors air quality for you. Its accuracy means it's useful for allergy sufferers, say, and for the rest of us to make sure we're living in a healthy environment.
Because there's no screen on the Eve Room, it reports its findings back to the Eve app on an iPhone, iPad and some other Apple devices. A helpful graph shows how the air quality changes during the day and can reassuringly tell you that air quality is excellent, assuming it is.
It even tells you how many particles there are in the air, expressed in parts per million (ppm). A high reading could be something like 3,000ppm and a good reading 400ppm, say. The Eve Room can measure both precisely.
The data is saved as a history so you can wind back through the app to spot trends. For instance, if there's a spike on Sundays at 1PM, check if that is the very time the kitchen is busiest, making Sunday lunch for the family. This is nothing to worry about, obviously, but may serve as a useful reminder to keep the kitchen well-ventilated while you're cooking.
And there's more. The Eve Room also measures the room's temperature. If a child, say, is routinely finding it difficult to get to sleep, an Eve Room in the bedroom can monitor the temperature exactly. So, it's worth checking to see if the room is too hot or cold.
Or too humid. Eve Room also monitors this. Since getting the humidity right has good health benefits, this is a highly useful metric. You can even use Eve Room with other smart home gadgets that work with Apple Homekit.
For instance, a humidifier could be turned on automatically when Eve Room spots the humidity levels dropping. This could be done through a smart humidifier or a regular humidifier attached to a smart plug like Eve Energy.
And for extra peace of mind, Eve Door and Window sensors can be used to remind you that you left the window open when you ventilated the kitchen while cooking that Sunday roast, so you can shut it again before you go out.