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Seven High-Tech Homes

“Smart” is the new “luxury” in home design and construction, as these stunning residences display

Swimming pools, tennis courts, and sumptuous gardens may be expected amenities of high-end estates, but today’s finest residences incorporate something else that cements their place in the top tier of the market: technology that enables owners to accomplish daily tasks and manage systems at the touch of a button or the flip of a switch. “Smart homes” are the new “luxury homes” thanks to extras such as theaters, high-tech security, and climate systems that can be controlled by handheld devices—from just about anywhere. The latest innovations in smart-home technology will be on display at CES Asia in Shanghai in early May. This Asian version of the Consumer Electronics Show will highlight the newest smart-home products and services from top companies around the world. With a focus on connectivity, innovation, and the “Internet of Things”—a network that connects everyday objects to one another digitally—exhibitors will showcase a wide range of in-demand consumer goods in areas as diverse as 3D printing, green technologies, and home entertainment systems. In short, CES Asia will provide a look at the future of high-tech living—something that is already a reality at these seven compelling properties.

Space-age Ski 
Incline Village, Nevada

It took ten years for this ultra-modern glass house to be built into a cliff overlooking the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe. Standing six stories tall, the structure boasts frameless glass walls that offer breathtaking mountain views. A sleek, sophisticated design aesthetic within its 8,000 square feet of interior space encompasses everything from a glass spiral staircase to a glass elevator that can transport you—à la gondola—to higher elevations. 

High-Tech High Life
Charleston, South Carolina

Located on the fifth floor of the historic People’s Building, this 3,000-square-foot Charleston condo is equipped with a Control4 system for managing lighting, audio, temperature, and shades either on site or remotely. A biometric lock on the front door ensures extra security as well as the convenience of keyless entry. Thanks to a ceiling-mounted camera, views of Fort Sumter and the harbor are always available on the wall or TV screen in the loft-like living room, creating the feel of a built-in art gallery.

Knightsbridge Cool
London, England

This perfectly located four-bedroom Knightsbridge home retains London charm and sophistication while offering all the bells and whistles of the high-tech lifestyle. A fully integrated Savant system affords the remote control of lighting, climate, entertainment, security, and window coverings via smart phone, tablet, or laptop. Solar panels deliver heat and hot water, and a video entry system coupled with a closed-circuit television provide the ultimate in security.

Up-to-the-Minute Uptown
New York, New York

Although built at the turn of the 19th century in the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District, this five-story townhome is more cutting edge than quaint. While many original details have been preserved in its 8,000 square feet of interior space, a recent renovation introduced a sophisticated home theater (complete with surround sound and two rows of leather cinema-style chairs), a hydraulic lift elevator, and a complete smart-home wiring system encompassing plasma TVs, security cameras, Internet, lighting, intercom, and climate—all managed via a network of panels and handheld devices.

Safe and Sound
Tifton, Georgia

There is no safer residence than this underground high-tech Georgia bunker. Numerous apartments as well as staff quarters are surrounded by three feet of concrete, and secure air-intake systems, underground HVAC systems, and a first-aid room further ensure the well-being of occupants. Technologically advanced elements include a 15-seat home theater, DSL broadband with a static IP address, and a modernized commercial kitchen. All this secure facility needs to become an inviting abode is a warm, decorative touch.

The Peninsula Estate
Crystal Harbour, Cayman Islands

Nearly every aspect of this six-bedroom, 25,000-square-foot estate on Grand Cayman’s North Sound fuses a glamorous aesthetic with technological innovation. A marble and granite driveway leads to five air-conditioned garages, and the interior is outfitted with sophisticated security, lighting, and speaker systems controlled via Crestron touch screen panels. Designed with entertaining in mind, the home boasts 21 terraces, a commercial-sized kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, and a generous wine cellar. A separate building on the 1.75-acre property houses a theater lounge, with plans in place for a 21-seat cinema.

Hanalei Haven
Princeville, Hawaii

Named “Best Backyard Retreat” on HGTV’s 2015 Ultimate House Hunt, this 5,752-square-foot Hawaii estate offers excellent views of Hanalei Bay and surrounding mountains. Technological comforts include high-efficiency air conditioning, Lutron lighting, and remote-controlled sun shades as well as a solar power system and Sonos sound system with indoor and outdoor speakers. Upscale finishes found throughout the home range from Brazilian mahogany and Italian stone to Indonesian and American granite.