Metro - 20 June 2014
By Jo Eccles
Technology in the home has come a long way over the past few years. I remember one client installing the latest audio visual system throughout his flat in Chelsea a few years ago, only for it to never be used. He wasn’t sure whether it was a case of it not being installed correctly, or whether he simply didn’t understand how the device worked! Either way, it was a complete waste of money and when the property was later rented out, the system was disabled so that tenants wouldn’t rack up bills calling out AV specialists at his cost.
Nowadays though, technology is much simpler and it’s being embraced by homeowners at all levels of the market. Technology is now focusing on being much more practical, rather than just adding a wow factor. There are still some gadgets aimed at the very top of the market, for example, some wine cellars with scanners and touch panels which allow clients to catalogue and monitor their collections. Some software can indicate which bottles are entering or exiting the perfect drinking window and even show a map to help locate a particular bottle! Another fairly recent invention is a mirror which remembers its owner’s previous outfits. However, much of the new emerging technology is focusing on providing very practical solutions to everyday tasks.
Apple is also due to enter the home technology market, launching “HomeKit” later this year, which will allow homeowners to use their iPhones to instruct the-in-built virtual assistant, Siri, on commands such as “get ready for bed”, which would include locking all the doors, dimming lights and turning down the heating.
This is a space to watch as all ends of the market embrace new technology. One thing that has definitely shifted is the trend for technology to be easy to use – and more integrated. These days, buyers are turned off by large flat screen televisions on walls or protruding speakers. Home owners want everything to be neatly tucked away and discreet.