If you're attracted to the idea of custom build and a home designed specifically around your individual lifestyle, the chances are you will also be keen to embrace some of the many exciting technologies that can make your home more energy efficient, comfortable, secure and fun to live in.
Custom build is about choice - and my goodness - there's plenty of that, when it comes to creating a smarter home. From lighting, heating, audio visual devices, security and ventilation, to materials that self clean and gadgets to keep an eye on your much loved pet, home alone.
British department store John Lewis has set up a new experiential space dedicated to smart home technology and an Internet of Things (IoT) future, in its flagship Oxford Street store in London. The place is quite literally packed to the rafters with gadgets and devices for you to see, touch and experience in a real-life setting with different rooms complete with home furnishings.
There are four interactive zones: kitchen, entertainment, sleep and home monitoring. You'll see how you can save time and effort and make your busy life easier by controlling elements of your home such as heating and lighting through the touch of an app on your smartphone.
There's an oven that enables you to put dinner on before you leave the office, a bedside device that monitors the quality of your sleep and a smart fridge that does your internet shopping for you. And of course, there are smart TVs with endless viewing possibilities and multi-room speakers for music streaming wherever you are in the house. All you need is a smartphone or tablet, plus a good broadband connection for accessing your devices.
I'm introducing myself gently to the world of smarter living with a SmartThings Starter Kit. For just £199 it promises to monitor, control and secure my home from anywhere, via my phone or tablet! There are plenty of add ons too, like a SmartThings Presence Sensor which can be used in a child's bag, a car or around a pet's collar and which will send a notification when they arrive or leave home.
Current stockists for inspiration
If the idea of a smarter home appeals to you, take a look at some of the following Smart Tech stockists for ideas and inspiration.
Images credited to Smartn