West Sussex County Times : 2020-07-09

The Guide : 53 : 53

The Guide

53 HORSHAM Thursday,July9,2020 www.wscountyti­mes.co.uk Property DIY The Grand Designs frontman discusses his favourite gizmos, and why robots may be invading homes sooner rather than later. By Kevin McCloud will be appearing at Grand Designs Live. Visit granddesig­nslive.com ● Luke Rix-Standing V only 15 or 20 years later. When the first examples of home tech emerged, they were highly complex pieces of equipment that would fill entire rooms and burn through enough energy to heat the whole house. “Now you can run a house with an app, and even my mother could do it. There are some amazing little devices in ‘the internet of things’, which are inexpensiv­e and can bring immeasurab­le improvemen­ts to our quality of life.” I discovered this morning, you can hack almost any car that has a fob really easily. There are some really profound issues around data mining and right to privacy, and it’s going to be very significan­t going forward.” oice-activated kettles, appcontrol­led toilets, and ovens that can tell you the weather – love it or loathe it, the smart home is here to stay. We talked to Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud about the rise of the tech-savvy houshold, and what’s in store for the homes of the future… came home – they would tap the Foobot, which would alert the parents. I know one person who used it for their mother to indicate when she’d been moving around – which would create dust and change the quality of the air. People started using as a monitoring system for their relative, without being intrusive. It’s really intriguing how people find new uses for devices.” Is it realistic that we might see fully-fledged robots in our homes before too long? “Go to Japan – Japan is full of robots! The Japanese tech philosophy is bound up in the robotic, but American technology is all about start-ups and how to feed the population with synthetic meat. In a way, there’s a lot of things in American tech that I find quite self-serving. “The most interestin­g place for technology is China, where developers are unencumber­ed by impediment­s like democracy and local planning. If they want to build a 30-storey vertical farm, they will; if they want to take the food waste of a entire city, and create an organic farm For all the Luddites out there, what does the phrase ‘home tech’ really mean? There are worries surroundin­g home tech and security – should people be concerned? What’s your favourite home tech invention? “I’m a Luddite – I don’t like things to be complicate­d, and the more stuff you have hardwired into your building, the more things can go wrong. I’m not a fan of the really geeky stuff that turns a house into a machine, where you’ve got to spend an hour a day adjusting the controls. “What’s happened to our homes is exactly what happened to our computers, “I think concerns about privacy are very common (we all worry we’ve left the door unlocked don’t we?), and there is always a risk with our homes. Hacking certainly adds another layer of risk, and as the software and devices develop so too will the hackers. “My front door has too big sliding bolts. I’d love to click it open with fob, like you might with a car, but not if, as “A few years ago, I tested a product called the Foobot, which tells you how healthy your air is by measuring things like CO2, bug spores and volatile organic compounds. It’s also controlled via an app and responds remotely when tapped. “Parents started using it to know when their kids

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