While popular TV shows like Black Mirror and Ex Machina have shown just how smart our homes may be in the future, for the rich and famous, this is more of a reality, with many already living in high-tech homes.
With home automation on the rise within modern mansions, smart home device specialists, Somfy, have studied the latest technologies that top stars are incorporating into their homes, revealing the celebrities with some of the most advanced automated homes around.
When investigating celebrity smart homes, naturally, tech genius Bill Gates comes out on top. Gates’ Washington mansion is so high-tech that it comes complete with an external estate-wide server system, just to be able to handle the abundance of gadgets hosted inside.
Impressively, the technology featured throughout the property is not only usable for those habiting the property but is set up to support guests and visitors too. When guests arrive at Gates’ estate, they are given a pin code that interacts with sensors located all over the house.
This enables guests to connect internal systems to their phones and set up different preferences such as ideal temperature and lighting. Once set, the technology will remember specific preferences, ensuring room temperature, brightness of lights and overall ambience are kept just as the guests have requested.
Further automation technology seen throughout the property even allows you to watch your favourite TV show or listen to your personal playlist wherever you are in the house. The technology inputted throughout the house means that if you were watching a show or listening to a song in one room, if you were to move to another area of the house, the floor sensors will detect your movement and will automatically make the show or the song follow you all around the house through various other sound system points. This even includes the pool, so you can swim and listen to your favourite soundtrack at the same time.
Gate’s mansion also brings security to a whole new level. The floors throughout the home have sensors that enable the security system to know who is in the house based on weight.
If, in the unlikely event an intruder was able to access the property, the security system would be able to immediately detect exactly where the individual was and would go on to monitor movement through the house.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, tech-savvy CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has too equipped his San Francisco home with the latest smart technologies, all of which have been custom-made for his needs. Zuckerberg has taken home automation to the next level, having recently introduced the world to Jarvis, his personal AI butler named after the robot controlling Iron Man’s armour in the iconic blockbuster.
When questioned on if Jarvis’ technology would ever be available to the wider public, Zuckerberg explained that the source code of the robot is currently bespoke to his home appliances, so whilst Jarvis will remain his own personal home automation system for now, he didn’t exclude the possibility of creating a version available for the wider public in the future.
When connected to different home appliances, Jarvis can adjust the lighting, thermostat and can even get breakfast ready if linked to a smart toaster. Jarvis also acts as a personal assistant and security guard, giving voice reminders of calendar meetings, and notifying the homeowner if there’s an intruder in the house.
Jarvis has also been programmed to let in close friends whose faces are recognised through smart cameras, with the technology also coming complete with a Messenger bot. This enables Zuckerberg to text any command to the AI, which is particularly convenient when he’s already on his phone or he doesn’t want to disturb others around him.
Will Smith’s recent $2.5m property investment stands out, as not another mansion to add to his property portfolio, but instead a luxury high-tech RV.
The 1,200 square feet RV comes with technology that enables Smith to transform the vehicle into a double-decker mansion on wheels with just the touch of a button. The RV’s walls extend outwards and upwards, creating additional space with the full capacity accounting for almost five regular trailers in one.
The RV also includes a conference and screening room, fully equipped, with electric blinds and 14 TV screens. The TVs are not all displayed in the open, some also pop out from unexpected places, including one embedded in a makeup mirror.
Additional to this, the vehicle also has mirrored doors that open to the sound of the Star Trek soundtrack and all-rounded automatic blackout blinds, along with a steam shower that has glass that can turn opaque on demand.
Arguably one of the most famous women in the world Kim Kardashian’s business acumen and global success has led her to build an empire worth more than $1bn. It therefore comes as no surprise that her home is one of those leading the way for home automation.
The 60-million-dollar Calabasas mansion was built in a ‘Futuristic Belgian Monastery’ style, with various surprising elements such as the special Belgian plaster flooring, which if scratched, can only be repaired by a specialist crew flown in from Europe.
When it comes to technology, the house comes equipped with what seems to be a go-to for most celebrities, with electric curtains and automatic light dimmers throughout. In the bathroom, the sinks are custom designed using specific technology that stops any water splashback, regardless of pressure, to ensure everything is always perfect.
Perhaps one of the most impressive pieces of technology is the bedroom TV. The reality TV star’s main television is hidden in the floor, perfectly camouflaged to not disrupt the minimal style of the home’s interior. At the click of a button, the TV can seamlessly pop up – perfect for when re-runs of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ air!
Beyonce and Jay Z
With a private SPA, doors made of lizard skin and a helipad on the rooftop, Beyonce and Jay-Z’s extravagant Bel Air compound home had to make the list. While the design is seemingly dominated by wall to ceiling glass, security hasn’t been compromised in the slightest. The cameras and alarms systems used throughout the space are cutting-edge, and all glass is bullet-proof.
Electric blinds and curtains are some of the least impressive smart home features in this mansion, as Beyond and Jay Z have gone the extra mile and introduce smart windows too.
These windows retract into the wall with a touch of a button, enabling you to step freely onto one of the many balconies hidden behind. Another impressive yet unexpected smart feature is the mansion’s toilets. The automated tankless toilets automatically open, flush, and close using sensors.
Kevin Van Der Steen, Product Manager at Somfy said: “The celebrities’ smart homes research offered us some great inspiration on how we can take home automation a step further. Whilst most of us won’t be adopting underwater speakers, AI butlers or tankless toilets anytime soon, there are certainly many affordable automation options on the market that can still make our homes smarter.
“Whether that’s purchasing a smart speaker, investing in electric blinds or adding an extra layer of security with one of our smart alarm systems from Somfy, you’re sure to be making your life just that little bit easier.”