As our technological capabilities expand, so do our homes. For the moment, expect to spend a fortune on a home that features loads of advanced technology like automated butlers, iPad-controlled systems, and more…but these things might just all become standard features in the near future. Until then, check out some of the most tech-influenced homes that are currently only afforded by the super rich.
14. Harbour Hide, Dorset, United Kingdom
The round $6-million beach house features Android tablets in every room allowing the homeowner to set the desired ambiance, mood, lighting, and temperature for each part of the home. The system also runs the extensive audio-visual entertainment setup, curtains and blinds, and, most impressively, it controls the electronic photochromic glass which can darken or lighten as the sunlight warrants.
13. Cape Code Waterfront Estate, Cotuit, MA
For $10.9 million, you can live on 7.6 acre’s of land that boasts a smart house, which has a system that runs not only all systems in its four-bedroom main house, but lights, heat and the like in its one-bedroom carriage house, as well. The system controls the home’s built-in audio/video, 14 flat-panel TVs — even the temperature in the estate’s massive wine cellar.
12. Lakefront Estate, Plano, Texas
The six-bedroom estate has a very elaborate media room that has domed ceiling that depicts thousands of twinkling stars – and even an occasional meteor streaking across the sky. There are also eight reclining chairs, as well as custom-painted murals depicting a panoramic view of Florence, Italy. The media room boasts a Sony (SNE_) video projector, a 147-inch screen, a 7.1 surround-sound Super THX speaker system, four DSS satellite receivers and more.The home’s state-of-the-art electronics also include remote-controlled shades, lights and other amenities, as well as built-in wiring for audio, flat-panel TVs and high-speed Internet.
11. Clock Tower Penthouse, Brooklyn, New York
For a listing price of $19 million, this three-bedroom penthouse has one of the coolest settings around, a 98-year-old former factory’s clock tower. The home boasts one-of-a-kind windows carved out of the structure’s four huge clocks (which still function). As for electronics, the penthouse has 12-speed CAT wiring and a Crestron system that controls lighting, heat, air conditioning, audio/video and shades.
10. En-Suite Sky Porches at the Hamilton Scott, Singapore, Taiwan
Parking is a no brainer for residents at the Hamilton Scott luxury private residence in Singapore, who have their garage directly in their living room. These luxury suites come with a special car elevator with moving treadmill and rotating floors. For added privacy and security, the system is encrypted and protected using a fingerprint scanner. But there’s only one car elevator for its 56 apartments, which might add a whole new meaning to morning traffic.
9. Techie Paradise Mansion, Kihei, Hawaii
For $5.498 million, you can live in paradise and have your own butler at your fingertips. The 4,800 sq.-ft. mansion has four bedrooms and bathrooms and features a fully automated butler that’s controlled with an AMX system that you can operate via an iPad. Everything in the house runs off of one system, which you can use to control all the lights, sounds, music, solar shades and more.
8. La La Land Home Theater, Chino Hills, California
About 45 minutes away from Hollywood, this Chino Hills mansion is 9,492 sq.-ft. and has five bedrooms with seven bathrooms and goes for about $4.988 million. But what makes this home so high-tech is its home theater system. The original owner is rumored to have spent $675,000 building the high-tech theater that’s powered by a high-end JBL Synthesis system. You can catch your favorite flick from auto reclining leather seats, while the ceiling has shooting stars with twinkling LED lights. The home also comes with an automation system that lets you control heating, lights, TVs, etc.
7. Wine Connoisseur Haven, Los Angeles, California
For about $8.9 million, this LA hills mansion is the perfect place for anyone who loves wine. It features a computer-driven, climate-controlled wine cellar that holds more than 1,200 bottles and there’s also an adjacent tasting room. But that’s not all…there’s a state-of-the-art main chef’s kitchen, and extended caterer’s kitchen, as well as a 12-seat THX home theater that makes a top-quality viewing space.
6. The Gates’ Home, Lake Washington, Washington
It’s a no brainer that Bill and Melinda Gates would have a super high-tech home. The Microsoft CEO and founder took his technological know-how to his Lake Washington mansion that has driveways, floors and walkways, that are all heated for the comfort of themselves and guests no matter the time of year. Its walls are covered in touchscreen panels that help guide users through the enormous, 66,000 square foot house, with the panels activated by pins worn by occupants and guests that have been programmed with their preferences in music, temperature, lighting and other elements. Plus, the pool is also customizable and has an underwater music system.
5. Switchable Skins, Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
L.A.’s Proto Homes allows owners to customize the house to their individual liking by installing many of their most impressive features, including window shades that close themselves in bright light; iPad-controlled music, temperature, and a fireplace in the home’s “core” room; and exterior panels, or “skins” as on an iPhone, that can easily be removed and changed according to the owner’s mood or color preferences.
4. St. James Apartment, London, United Kingdom
The three-bedroom apartment is a mini high-tech mansion that goes for 6.65 million pounds. It has a canopy that slides across to conceal a secret entrance that can be used in complete privacy and a “floating” bath in one of three bathrooms. And the wireless home control tablet in the reception means you can be on the other side of the world and ensure the perfect temperature or turn on a security light.
3. Maximum Security Mansion, Evergreen, Colorado
The 12,000 sq.-ft. home with four bedrooms and seven bathrooms features loads of top-notch security stuff to keep the 32-acre estate safe. It comes with a $6-million surveillance and security system that would make the CIA proud, complete with; Night-vision cameras monitor the interior and exterior and can be watched from a laptop, phone or tablet with Apple software anywhere in the world. Thermal-imaging cameras working in conjunction with special software can track even a handprint on a wall up to 20 minutes after it was left. A detection system can issue an alert for water leaks at every sink and toilet, as well as any sudden 10-degree rise in temperature.
2. Shape-Shifting Apartment, Matosinhos, Portugal
Apartments are pretty small in Matosinhos, Portugal, with one home measuring just 474 sq. ft., but designers at the Portuguese architectural firm Consexto have solved the problem of space not by creative use of furniture, but with a revolutionary approach to the ways in which walls delineate a home’s layout. You can easily expand one of the home’s two rooms with movable walls for dinner parties or late-night movie marathons. Getting tired of the layout? Just hit a switch and the home transforms before your eyes.
1. The Heliotrope, Freiburg, Germany
According to German architechtural firm Rolf Disch SolarArchitektur, the Heliotrope is the world’s first home that generates more power than it uses, with the more energy-efficient side of the cylindrical home toward the sun in different seasons. A large multi-directional solar panel array on the roof tracks the sun’s movements in order to get the best charge possible, while it powers a unified climate and floor warmth system, and a rooftop collector traps and filters rainwater. But it also has a human waste disposal system that produces dry, odorless solids for composting and clarified liquid waste for a cascading pool in front of the home.
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.