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Homes to see remote control future

Technology that allows people to control their heating and lighting remotely is becoming more popular, with one Buckinghamshire businessman making maximum use of the idea.

Wayne Burgess’ Buckinghamshire home looks distinctive enough from the outside - it is on stilts next to a river on a flood plain and boasts glass walls - but remote technology comes into its own inside.

The four-bedroom house - for sale at £3.3 million - features touch-screen pads that manipulate lights, heating and music. There are taps that provide boiling water at the flick of a switch and cameras monitor the house and grounds.

Mr Burgess can even lock-down the whole house using just one button. When he presses it all the lights, heating and music systems turn off, the curtains open and his alarms and sensors activate.

He said: “What we’ve done is to develop a one-stop system that does it all. We can be coming home along the Thames and I can turn the boathouse and jetty lights on from my iPhone. I can be in Los Angeles and turn the house lights up so it looks as though someone is home. Anywhere I can access the internet I have full control.”

As sci-fi as that may seem, such gadgets are increasingly part of the specifications for homes that cost over £1m.

Planning consultant David Stimpson advises house builders on emerging trends.

He said: “Projected sharks may not be typical in 2030 but I can imagine hot taps producing instant boiling water and ceiling-fitted sound systems being bog standard by then.”