The nights are drawing in, the end of 2018 is approaching and The Ambient will soon be celebrating its first birthday. So what better way to close out the year than with our inaugural Smart Home Awards?
Make way for the debut The Ambient Smart Home Awards, celebrating the very best of the smart home in 2018.
There are nine prestigious gongs up for grabs β and a remarkable lineup of companies and devices fighting for them in our gladiatorial arena. Helping us select the most deserving winners is an esteemed panel of judges who know their Zigbee from their Z-Wave. They areβ¦
- James Day β Print editor, Stuff; Tech editor at large, Enki Magazine.
- Amy Moorea Wong β Features editor, Elle Decoration.
- Chris Haslam β Journalist and author; Contributor, Wired, The Ambient.
- Jennifer Pattison Tuohy β Contributing editor, Dwell Magazine; Contributor, The Ambient, Wirecutter.
- Amy Cutmore β Digital editor, Ideal Home.
- Gerald Lynch β Associate editor, TechRadar.
- Verity Burns - Freelance technology journalist.
Below are the shortlists for eight of the categories. The ninth? That goes to Smart Home Product of the Year β the most coveted accolade of all β but we're keeping that shortlist under wraps for the time being. After all, we have to keep at least one surprise, right?
Smart speaker of the year
For many people the smart speaker is the portal to the smart home, so this category is going to be hotly contested. Smart speaker makers have seriously upped their game for 2018, with seven finalists that have each impressed us in their own ways. Good luck trying to call this one.
Smart home platform of the year
Platforms are key to keeping the smart home tied together; the stronger the platform, the more likely you are to stick with it and build on it. In 2018 these smart home platforms have become more open, more accessible and easier to control.
Home entertainment tech of the year
The living room is the soul of the home, which is why we decided to give it a category of its own. From soundbars to streaming sticks, 2018 has given us so many new ways to make our home entertainment look and sound incredible.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K
- Roku Streaming Stick+
- Google Chromecast
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- Sky Q
- Sonos Beam
- Polk Command Bar
- Now TV Smart Stick
Smart lighting product of the year
If the smart speaker is the portal to the smart home, smart lights are the next destination. Lights are often the first thing on people's lists when it comes to connecting the home, making this category a real proving ground.
Home security tech of the year
Smart lighting is a nice way to ease into the smart home, but home security is where you really separate the wheat from the chaff. After all, you're putting the security of your home into the hands of technology β it mustn't let you down.
Smart home innovation of the year
Sometimes we come across and idea that really blows us away. This category is for the more ingenious innovations we've seen this year, no matter what type of product it is. These ones caught our eye in 2018
- Samsung QLED Ambient Mode
- Tesla Powerwall 2
- Meural Canvas
- Electrolux Kitchen
- Vivint Streety app
- Walabot Home
Smart home design of the year
Design is so integral to the smart home, we felt it deserved a category of its own. These devices don't only need to improve our lives, but they have to look good doing it. This category's going out in style.
- Sonos One x Hay
- B&O BeoSound Edge
- Hive View
- Loewe Bild 9 and Bild X
- Google Home Hub
- Awair 2nd Edition
- Samsung Frame TV
Smart energy product of the year
These cold winter months are when our smart thermostats should be proving their mettle. Smart energy is all about the devices that make heating our homes a cinch while saving us money in the process.
- Nest Learning Thermostat
- Hive Active Heating
- Honeywell Lyric T5
- Tado Smart Thermostat