There’s no place like iiiHome

Convincing people to add electronic smarts to their new home is a hard sell, but a new showroom makes the benefits easy to see.

Buying an audio and video system, lighting control or automation setup is big scary jump into the unknown for most homebuilders and renovators. Sales consultants will describe a domestic nirvana of music piped to every room, blinds and curtains controlled by touchscreens, pathways that automatically light up as you walk, fingerprint security systems and wine cellars that send SMS alerts to your mobile should the temperature deviate from normal.

All manner of Jetsons-like scenarios are possible, in theory, but when it comes to witnessing these in action there’s rarely anything to see. Instead, potential smart homeowners have to take it on trust that everything promised can be achieved, and this is a huge leap of faith when such systems can cost several hundred thousand dollars. Projects such as the iiiHome, however, are changing that.

An initiative of Queensland integration company, VideoPro, the iiiHome in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley is a retail first, according to the company. Costing half a million dollars, the iiiHome (Intelligent Innovative, Interactive Home) is a multi-roomed display that “allows visitors to see, hear and experience the way that various components of technology can work together to make their home more comfortable and entertaining”.

Open for inspection

iiiHome kitchen touchscreenThe kitchen is the hub of iiiHome operations, with a 15 inch colour touchscreen embedded into the wall to control music, video, lighting, security and air-conditioning throughout the home. From here, you can select any audio and video source and direct it to any room in the house; turn on the Blu-ray player in the cinema, for example, switch to HDTV in the living room, or power up the CD player in the bedroom and bedroom.

Smaller touchscreen controllers throughout the iiiHome emulate these functions in different rooms, putting you in control of all the home’s systems, regardless of where you happen to be. You can even send an SMS to the control system, ensuring that the temperature is exactly as you like it when you arrive home.

A 17 inch LCD mounted into the kitchen splashback displays broadcast TV, as well as video feeds from security cameras positioned around the iiiHome. It’s a setup that would allow you to see who’s at the front door, for example, or to keep an eye on the kids in the pool while you’re knocking up some lunch.