This one-bedroom flat in Juffair is billed as the first voice-operated smart home in the Gulf
Walking inside Ghafarado’s The Pad in Juffair is like walking into the future, according to its owner and creator, Omar Al Mohammed. Within this one-bedroom apartment, illuminated taps change colour according to the temperature of the water being dispensed; curtains glide open or shut at a word of command; and the robotic vacuum cleaner plugs itself in when its batteries are low. Omar describes it as the first voice-operated “smart home” in the Gulf.
He has imported all this up-to-the-minute home technology from the UK. The show flat contains plenty to impress the uninitiated. Central to the apartment is the “family hub”, which looks like an enlarged smart phone integral to the fridge door. It can be used like a phone screen – showing messages, finding recipes, placing orders and so on – but as well as connecting occupants with the outside world of supermarkets and Uber et al, the “family hub” offers a camera view of inside the fridge. It is even capable of scanning the bar codes for food-expiry dates. This data can be accessed on your phone while out shopping – the aim is that, equipped with accurate information about the contents of your fridge, you’ll buy intelligently and hopefully reduce your food waste.
Throughout the apartment is voice-operated lighting which can shift to one of 16 million colours (or to a preset combination, such as “sunset” or “disco” modes), and voice-operated curtains and thermostat. In the living area is a TV slimmer than a phone and magnetically wall mounted. The bedroom has the same voice-operated lighting, so that occupants can wake up, open the curtains, set the lighting and activate the coffee machine in the kitchen all without leaving the comfort of their bed.
It is in the kitchen that this technology really makes life easier of course. Besides the fridge and sensor-operated rubbish bin is the oven, which counts “virtual flames” among its tech credentials. The washing machine and dryer is both front- and top-loading and capable of running two different washing cycles simultaneously or separately.
The fully equipped flat is itself for sale but is primarily a showcase for Omar’s home technology, which he is offering for sale to developers and individual consumers. His collection ranges from a smart coffee machine (BD160) and smart clock, which supplies weather details, notifications and calendars in addition to the time, up to larger items such as the “family hub” fridge and washing machine and dryer. Many of these items come with different specifications and prices vary accordingly.
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