LAS VEGAS - Having a smart home means controlling more of what goes on at home while you're away. And you can do it all with your smart phone. And This is something you can expect to see in a lot of homes within the next five years.

One of the products unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is called HomeChat. It was launched by LG and the idea is to communicate with your house via text. You can control all of your LG appliances and you can even text your refrigerator and ask questions like "Do I have any wine in the fridge?", and it will send you a response back.

You will also be able to start the dishwasher, the vacuum cleaner, and preheat the oven before you even get home. That's the idea behind Samsung's Smart Home, which connects new smart appliances with its smartphones and tablets.

Some of the other technology at CES includes smart phone controlled light bulbs, a robot that works as both a mop and a vacuum cleaner, and a smart phone-connected crockpot.

It's all about integrating the home with the phone and giving you more control.

One potential problem with the new technology is that these products are all being built by different companies. So, unless you have the same brand of everything, some gadgets won't MAY NOT be able to communicate with each other.

The smart appliances will have to start talking to other brands or connect to a common system on the cloud.