posted on Friday, 11th May 2012 by David Slater
This year's Grand Designs Live event has proved to be a fabulous
advert for smart home automation. I've always enjoyed GDL, as it's
traditionally been a great way to discover innovative products
which I can implement into our build division at DSE Group. But
while the show has been a popular attraction, the Custom Install
market has only had a small presence.
This year was different as the Grand Designs team and CEDIA have worked together to come up with the Automated Home area - and I have to say I love the concept! Brilliant Living, Halstead Technology, Perfect Integration and RJR Custom all had demonstration room-sets at the show, and when I visited the guys were in full flow, running potential clients through the kit on offer.
The three different install showcases were all very impressive. The lounge had a 'hidden' TV floating on a Future Automation mechanism, then at the push of a button a projector and projector screen dropped from the ceiling to create the ultimate home cinema experience. Visitors seemed to love it. Moving onto the bathroom section I met up with Iain Shaw of Brilliant Living, who introduced me to some really funky items. I just loved the toilet that was flush to the wall only to be revealed at the press of a button. I wasn't so sure about the lounge immersed in water with clear glass sides, but definitely want the shower you can take lying down (is this not just called a bath?).
Making a beeline for the Kitchen, I met with Louis Halstead from Halstead Technology Solutions. Louis explained how the kitchen was fitted with Lutron lighting; this controlled a nice colour change LED back splash from Aurora, while a Samsung ES8000 TV integrated into the kitchen furniture was being operated by hand gestures. It looks like the future of operating your TV does not include a remote control!
The whole concept of a dedicated smart home area seemed to work wonderfully well. Visitors were coming in their droves, the space was well thought out and simply oozed quality. The Ask An Expert section was a great place to put your new home house plans on the table and see what the professionals could offer.
Traditionally technology like this has only ever been affordable to the celebrity super-rich, but thanks to platforms like Grand Designs Live, it's fast becoming the norm. Prices have dropped considerably and if you want that contemporary Grand Designed new build to give you the wow factor, you'll need some of these toys. The whole concept of the Automated Home stand showed how professional our industry is and makes me proud to be involved. Well done to all involved. Check out the comments section below over the next few days to see what all those involved thought about this year's GDL experience.
David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a
popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
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