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Smart home steals limelight at Dubai's design fair

"Home of tomorrow" stand was main focus of Downtown Design

Smart home steals limelight at Dubai's design fair
Larsen: "We're putting the end users before the technology which hasn't been done before."

Innovation took centre stage at last week's Downtown Design fair, with the "Home of Tomorrow" from ikonhouse demonstrating the future of smart living.

The "Home of Tomorrow" included technology that allows people to adjust almost every household setting, from air conditioning to automatic blinds at the touch of a button.

"The great thing is that this features technology that is available now, so people can experience and use it today," said Anders Larsen, director of design and technology at ikonhouse.

Larsen pointed out that the technology demonstrated has been around for years but so far people have not adapted to it because the design and the simplicity has not been good enough.

"We're putting the end users before the technology which hasn't been done before," Larsen told ITP.net.

The home boasted window-blinds that roll up and down following sunset and sunrise; high-tech bulbs that turn themselves off; glass panels that turn from transparent to opaque to allow privacy; mirrors that transform into a TV or computer screen and can detect an individual's mood and set lighting and music to suit; cooking appliances that can be preheated remotely; a television that can be swivelled to angle to where the viewer is sitting; a Dh10,000 3D home printer; and other devices that can be accessed through apps on mobile phones and tablets.

"Home automation is already here and it is intuitive to use. We can imagine that the smart home of tomorrow will learn our habits and adapt to our lifestyles blending seamlessly into our everyday lives", says Cristina Romelli Gervasoni, Downtown Design's fair director "The key is to make sure that we never notice that all these technologies are there. We are excited to see how our visitors interact with the exhibit."

The smart devices communicate with each other through Wi-Fi to make life easier and follow routines. The devices are controlled by a mobile app that can be accessed through a touch-pad or a mobile phone.

"People are getting these things installed in their home now but the price varies from Dh20,000 to the millions," added Larsen.

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