Home security cameras can provide a sense of, well, security, but there's something Orwellian about having a lens staring at you like a prop out of an episode of The Prisoner. A more discreet solution is something that doesn't look like a camera and, better yet, combines some other functions to make it more welcome. One example is the Sentri home monitoring system that combines a motion-activated camera with the looks of a digital information center. We powered one up to see what it could do.
During time spent working alongside a naval architect, Magnus Ström is said to have wondered why superyachts existed, but not superhouses. Well now, courtesy of Ström, Superhouses could become a reality. They are aimed at being "the most beautiful, unique and design-led houses possible."
Slowly but surely, devices like Philips Hue bulbs and the Nest thermostat are making our homes smarter. But just how smart can they get? To find out, Intel has created the Smart Tiny House, which explores the future of the connected home by packing a host of smart tech into a 210 sq ft (20 sq m) "living lab."
If you've ever fancied securing your home with one of those cool invisible sensor webs that you see in movies, now's your chance. The new Xandem Home system detects motion through walls and furniture. It uses a number of nodes that plug into wall outlets and create a wireless web of sensor connections.
Most of us spend the vast majority of our time indoors, but how healthy are those indoor environments? A new set of sensors can tell you, so that you can make changes to optimize your environments for well-being. Beagle can track temperature, noise, light, air pressure, air quality and humidity.
One solution to the increasing demand for, and cost of, housing in major cities is shared accommodation. The thought may send shivers down your spine, but US-based Common has a new take on the concept, offering highly specced, flexible, community-focused housing for the 21st century.
Interesting architecture doesn't always come with a high price tag. In a similar vein to the S House and Low Cost House, Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao unveiled an US$8,000 home at this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial. The low-cost house could perhaps one day complement existing social housing options in Mexico.
Casa MJE, by Spanish firm PKMN Architectures, is a flexible vacation home that aims to ensure every last inch of space is made available to its owners. Featuring clever movable walls and folding furniture, the apartment can be configured to offer two bedrooms, one bedroom, or no bedrooms at all.
If you've ever fancied making your own furniture, now's your chance. PlayWood allows users to design and build pieces of furniture using special connectors and other materials of their choice. It's possible to make everything from chairs to tables to storage solutions.
Lots of people have a home office, but few homes are designed to be literally part office. Dwell Developments' new Live/Work homes in Seattle, however, are exactly that home-office hybrid. They're aimed at improving the lifestyles and environmental footprints of their residents.