Smart Homes Show

It was a while ago now, but I attended the "Smart Homes Show" at the NEC earlier this year and I thought I’d share some of the cool gadgets and gizmo’s I found there.

2TechVisuals were displaying a number of Digital Picture Frames including a portable Digital Picture Key Ring that had a 8mb Memory (enough for about 56 photos) and a 2.5 hour Battery Life, along with a USB port. Cost was about £35.

There was lots of Home Entertainment innovations, the biggest display being from Ivory Egg who had a huge range of wallet busting items on show. How about a Plasma TV built into your Fireplace? Very cool – but with prices at around £3k for the fireplace, not a cheap toy!

My favourite was the Fridge/Freezer with a LCD Screen and a CCTV feed (so you can see who’s at the front door when you are in the kitchen, naturally) plus built in DVD unit. Cost? Not an unreasonable £1100.

Logitech were in attendance with their latest Harmony Advanced Universal Remote Controls. I was very very tempted, but my glowing One-For-All Kameleon retains it’s living room home at Chez Tubb.

AVNex were demonstrating their Nexus Multiroom Audio, Video and Control System which works over CAT5. If I were renovating my home from scratch again, I’d go with this system – as it is, I’ll stick with my existing generic CAT5 system.

BT were displaying their Home Monitoring system, which alarms your house and is accessible via the Internet and Telephone. Cost ranges, but started at about £85 for a System, plus a few pounds ongoing monthly charge. It looked good, but I still prefer an X10 Alarm system with it’s greatly increased configuration features.

On the subject of Security – how about a Fingerprint activated Front Door Lock? For the Luddites or those fearful of losing your fingers whilst out shopping amongst you, it comes with a standard key backup too. Having been in a situation recently where I drove to my other house in Wigan and realised I’d forgotten my house keys, then being faced with a 90 minute journey back to Birmingham to pick them up, I reckon I can justify the £225-£350 outlay on one of these babies!

Attached to the Smart Homes Show was the National Homebuilders and Renovators show – so the group of us in attendance took a wander over to take a look at what was going on there.

Very interesting, as lots and lots of "Green" Environmentally Friendly ideas – Micro-Generation, Conservation, etc. The products that specifically grabbed my attention were the SolaTube – a device for getting natural daylight into dark parts of the home, various Ventihilation and Filtration systems from AllergyPlus and my favourite – the integrated Central Vacuum Cleaning System! My excitement with this system was tempered by an outburst from the GG who accused me of never doing the Vacuuming at Chez Tubb as it is. My response? I would if I could have one of these systems!

Sadly, I lost this argument and the poor Vacuum salesman looked dejected. But I got the last laugh, as the GG will have to continue to vacuum the house with our old fashioned Hoover!

(Only joking, of course…)

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2 Responses to “Smart Homes Show”


  1. 1 Matt June 23, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    Any of the Harmony range would treat the Kameleon as it\’s red-headed stepchild 🙂 I\’ve installed basically the whole range (through the RF 890, 895 in the UK.) and most of those are \’friend of a client\’ who saw the Harmony in action and \’had to have one!\’. They really are awesome remotes.

  2. 2 Jupiter Smupiter November 3, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    I agree with the tubular skylight part, I bought a similar one to the solatube rigid pipe type from http://www.jupiterblue.co.uk and the results are amazing. Its a bit wierd how much light actually comes in. Would recommend product to anyone!


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