July 19 - How would you like to be able to control everything from the temperature of your oven, to your sound system and even ordering your favourite coffee – simply using your tablet computer? Home automation is becoming increasingly popular, and there are predictions the market will grow by more than 50 per cent by 2017. Hayley Platt reports.
Everyday tasks around the home are getting easier. It's not just your TV that's remotely controlled anymore - curtains, coals and even cappuccinos can be operated using a phone, app or tablet. The home tech industry is booming. Robin Shephard is CEO of Cornflake, which makes the Cornflake Concierge - an app which controls all your home gizmos and gadgets. SOUNDBITE: Robin Shephard, CEO, Cornflake, home automation specialist, saying (English): "Where the internet comes into your property from then onwards we can control anything, so whether it be your Aga cooker, the top of your swimming pool, your lighting, your heating, your climate control. We can take heat from one area of your house and put it into air conditioning system so you're actually saving energy and saving money. Pretty much anything really that technology can do these days and it can do a lot." This two-storey town house has been built to show off the best in home automated technology. It cost £1.4 million and features a further half a million pounds worth of equipment - and it's not all in the Games room. SOUNDBITE: Robin Shephard, CEO, Cornflake, home automation specialist, saying (English): "Technology prices half every 12 months, so within 12 months twice the size of the market can afford the sort of technology we supply today. And of course with the price points coming down it will become just the norm that when you go into people's houses they will have the ability to have sound and vision everywhere." Last year Europe's Home Automation market earned 223 million euros. And it's set to grow by more than 50 percent by 2017. Germany is by far the largest market with 47 percent. Followed by France with 10 percent. And then the UK. Elizabeth Mead is a market analyst at IHS. SOUNDBITE: Elizabeth Mead, market analyst, Connectivity and Smart Home IHS Electronics & Media, saying (English): "The Smart Home's really undergone a lot of changes over the last decade. Traditionally we've seen luxury systems, very high end home automation systems dominating the market and that's still the case now but really we're seeing a shift from that luxury segment much more towards the mass market systems and smart phones and tablets are a lot to do with that." Not every home can afford its own cinema room but as home automation technologies evolve to become smarter, spaces like this may not be only the preserve of the rich and famous.