From self-cleaning toilets to intelligent lighting: "smart" homes are here

Bathroom mirrors that turn into flat-screen televisions and air conditioners that turn on before you get home, while wooden work desks light up with a sweep of a hand.

“Smart” homes, once the purview of the wealthy or tech-obsessed, are an increasingly accessible aspect of modern living, with technologies once considered futuristic and unattainable now within easy grasp of everyday homeowners.

“Pretty much every project I'm working on, the client requests some sort of hi-tech application,” says Wendy Raizin, founder of Raizin Design in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. “Throughout all different levels, worldwide, people are taking advantage of technology in their homes.”

The applications range from practical (security systems that enable you to see what's going on in your house from thousands of kilometres away) to indulgent (sensor-controlled bidets that wash and dry). But there is no disputing that the category is a burgeoning one.

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