There’s no bigger name in the home automation system then Crestron, and if it’s something you’re looking into for your own home, you’ll be in good hands if you give them a call. Its intelligent systems eradicate the multiple controls and switches that clutter up most of our homes – now, a single button can do everything from selecting a movie to adjusting the temperature and checking the alarm. Their device seamlessly integrates all the technology into your home into one complete system, making it easier than ever to control and manage everything from one platform. It’s really as simple as that. Take this elegant home in Eaton Square, where Crestron have wielded their magic. An elegant, clean aesthetic hides the ultra-modern technology within. The brief: the owners wanted automation to be present but not to be the focal point, meaning that the living space was freed from the electronics they would have needed without the bespoke user interface they received. The high-end AV specialist Knektd turned to Crestron to ensure technology was hidden with clever design quirks; for example, the Damien Hirst artwork in the reception room will rise at the touch of a button to reveal the 55” 4K TV. Like magic, an extended arm will then position the TV as a speaker drops down. Little details also make living easier throughout the property. Bedside keypads in the bed frame make it easy to touch ‘All Off’ before you go to sleep. Motion detectors mean the lights automatically brighten as you enter a room. Heating and air conditioning adjust themselves, dependent on the temperature outside. Of course, safety is key, too, and the owners will be pleased they can access the system from anywhere in the world, getting alerts when someone is at the front door and checking in remotely whenever they wish. It’s a clever, stylish antidote to all the clutter that comes with a modern and technological home today. We’re sold.
One of the interesting trends at the annual CES in Las Vegas (formerly the International Consumer Electronics Show) this year was the new range of smart windows, which quickly assess both the weather conditions and the air quality before automatically opening. Easily controlled via your smart phone, it means you can avoid getting home to a stuffy house or rain-soaked carpet. Velux Active windows should be available later this year.
Samsung Family Hub 2.0 Fridge
The Family Hub 2.0 from Samsung is an upgrade on last year’s well-received new release, and this fridge is the focal point of how we always imagined the kitchen of the future would be. ‘Food management’, as they call it, has been improved so you can check what food is in the fridge while out and about through internal cameras. The images can then be added to the shopping list and ordered through an app, before reading out the recipes to you as you cook. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fridge without a social aspect these days, and luckily a touchscreen serves as an interactive bulletin board, so you can share photos, update calendars and write and post memos from wherever you are. What else do you need from a fridge?
LG Hub Robot
Since it was revealed at CES, everyone has been talking about the LG Hub Robot. While LG haven’t announced when it will be out, we do know this little device can control all LG’s other products, from washing machines to the fridge. Powered by Amazon’s Alexa, it can recognise the voices of different members of the family, perform simple tasks, let you know the weather report and even nod its head when answering a question.
Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed
The Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed, unveiled this year, promises a revolution in the way we hit the hay. It self-adjusts through the night: as sleep positions change, so do the two air chambers inside the mattress. Automatic snore detection also helps adjust the sleeper’s ideal position – if they’re snoring on their back, the base raises the sleeper’s head to relieve the symptoms. Automatic foot-warming, which learns the sleeper’s bedtime routine, will help them get to sleep quicker, while a smart alarm wakes them at the best moment in their sleep cycle. The only thing it can’t do is read you a bedtime story.
Universe Architecture Floating Bed
Universe Architecture experiments with concepts we take for granted, creating unique and unusual pieces for the home that, some would argue, are more intuitive. Take this incredible £1.6 mil floating bed, a feat of engineering that has created a piece that, visually, is not dictated by gravity. It relies on a magnetic hoverboard tethered by four thin cables that give the illusion of a hanging bed. It may not be the most practical, but playing with everyday objects is how every smart home begins.
Urban Interior has integrated Multimedia Modules into its cool kitchens for the ultimate in stylish smart homes. The Media System itself, finished in matt white lacquer and set against clean white glass and limestone countertops, is coolly minimalist, and its functions are pretty impressive, too. An intuitive user interface, streaming for web radio and TV connection are just some of the features that will quickly become essentials.
VitrA V-care Comfort WC
Why aren’t these mandatory in all homes yet? The VitrA V-care Comfort WC is self-cleaning, with personalised washing and drying options, air purification system and a nice warm seat. It’s the ultimate in everyday luxury for one’s derrière…