Say hello to the home of the future. And then ask it to make some coffee for you

If changing television channels with a remote control seems to be too much effort, say hello to the home of the future - where you will be able to run a bath, make the coffee, check on the baby, unlock the door and, of course, change channels using just your voice, and all while lying in bed.

If changing television channels with a remote control seems to be too much effort, say hello to the home of the future - where you will be able to run a bath, make the coffee, check on the baby, unlock the door and, of course, change channels using just your voice, and all while lying in bed.

The experimental house - a three-bedroom detached home in Hatfield, Hertfordshire - will also be ecologically friendly, recycling 40 per cent of its water and using solar panels to generate power and heating to cut electricity use.

For the family of the future, it will have all mod cons, and then some. Every room can have its own radio or TV channel, piped simultaneously from a central computer that lives under the stairs. There are computers in almost every room and video monitors in the baby's nursery, watching the front door and outside. And keys will be a thing of the past: all the external doors are secured by pressing a keyfob, similar to the radio-controlled locking on a car, or via the telephone network with a six-digit PIN code sent as text message from the owners' mobile phones, or over the internet. Each room will also have microphones.

"We are going to research this seriously by putting a family in to live here from April," said Mike Crawshaw, head of the consulting group at the mobile phone company Orange, which developed the concept. "That will show whether people like to operate the controls by voice, or with remotes, or buttons on the walls."

The wireless future does of course come with a price tag: Orange, which refitted the £225,000 house last year, said that creating the "wire-free" home of 2005 has cost about £2m. That, however, included the cost of prototypes and rebuilding to install the systems and software necessary to control the house's electronics. But Orange insisted that all the technology used was available today and that rising demand would make the price of the hardware fall rapidly.

The planners have even allowed for the risk that the future will include power cuts: in that event, the front door will remain locked, except from the inside. Though for those wanting to listen to something while they wait for the lights to come back on, a wind-up radio might still be a necessity.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test