High-Tech in Your Home
Almost everything in the house is computerized. When the children come home from school, they open the front door by waving their wristwatches over a scanner hidden in the wall.
Even the grocery list gets an upgrade! Homeowner Brian says a scanner system keeps an updated list of what's in stock in the pantry and can even reorder more food when something runs out. "It can recommend recipes to fit what you have in the cupboard," he says.
When the first person in the family goes to bed, Cleopatra begins her nightly powering down. First, she wishes them a good night and turns down all music and announcements. When the second person goes to bed, Cleopatra goes into full sleep mode—the lights and fireplace go off, the alarm on the doors and windows are armed and the motion sensor is activated.
Patti says at first she was mildly apprehensive about turning her home over to a computer. "I didn't really have a vision for it. I thought it was going to be like the airport with these announcements," she says. "And as it's turned out, there's all kinds of very practical things you can do—and I'm all about practical with three little kids."
After getting over the concept of Cleopatra, Patti says she just had one lingering issue. "I looked at her the first time and said, 'She looks a whole lot like Angelina Jolie,'" Patti jokes. "'Couldn't we go with the Brad Pitt model?'"
Brian says there is more to their computer-run house than computerized grocery lists and automatically dimming lights. "I think the favorite feature has become the word of the day that we do at dinner. When we sit down to dinner … [Cleopatra teaches us] a new word every day," he says. "It's just kind of become a family tradition."
The Control4 system functions as a handheld screen or remote control, allowing a user to direct everything in the house with just the touch of a finger. It controls the lights, temperature, music, television and security.
Control4 can even be used to monitor live video feeds from cameras installed in other rooms in the house. "You can watch the baby, " Nate says.
"You can program up to 50 different fingerprints in here and take them out when you want," Nate says. "You can control the security."
"When you're done, you just hit this again. It will cool down for a second," Nate says. "Then, it all goes back flat so you can use this as counter space. It's great for small spaces."
Push a button and instantly recall your preferences for shower temperature, pressure and lighting. You can even have music piped in to sing along with.
"The Jetsons are here," Oprah jokes. "We are the Jetsons!"
Where to find the products featured on the show.