The ultimate high-tech home

Security in their wealthy area of London is paramount, so an IP security system of three cameras patrols the front and back of the house, plus the basement – the cameras can be viewed anywhere in the world as long as there’s a wireless network. A separate IP video entry system means that Viki can hear the doorbell on her phone if she’s in the garden or the park. The couple also put in a combined heating/cooling system, digital taps in the bath, shower and basins and a commercial grade IT network for super-fast broadband and IP telephony, which lowers the cost of phone calls. They didn’t bother with controllable mood lighting, but did fit the light switch back boxes to accommodate a wireless solution at a later point if necessary. “At a guess we probably invested about £35,000 on all of the gadgets,” says Viki. “It’s a lot of money. But this is the perfect home for us and our family – and we’ve designed it as such.”

So if you want to do it yourself, what’s worth installing and what isn’t?

Forget the fancy gadgets, says Stas Lawicki, who six months ago set up Onyx Technologies, an independent technology consultancy that advises on smart tech for the home. Instead, focus on the fundamentals: lighting (a system such as Lutron, for example), heating and cooling, television and music. To that you can also add superfast broadband (many of these things are controlled via Wi-Fi anyway), and security in some form, particularly if your home is full of expensive gadgetry. “Running your bath from the back of the car when you’re half an hour away is great, but what if you’re late or stuck in traffic?” says Lawicki. “It comes down to what you’re actually going to use.”

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