Wonder walls – first mass-market intelligent home system launches in the UK
The UKs most comprehensive home automation system, that controls lighting, heating and security
through intelligent technology, has launched; with it being made available to new-build home buyers
and home-owners throughout the country.
– Converts standard homes in to intelligent homes
– Learns the habits of the home and its occupants
– Reduces energy use more effectively than smart meters
– Automatically controls heating, lighting and safety
– Includes advanced security system with motion and audio break-in detection and
simulated occupancy mode
– Amazon Alexa in every light switch makes voice control and music playing available
throughout the home
– Integration with Sonos allows control and use of Sonos speakers in the home
Wondrwall (www.wondrwall.co.uk), the brainchild of Manchester based entrepreneur Daniel Burton, will initially be made available to buyers at developments from over ten major housebuilders, with the firm in commercial negotiations with 60 others. It can also be purchased directly by individual homeowners undertaking private refurbishment projects.
The device, which learns the habits of the home and its occupants without any need for user programming, is the first of its kind to be made available to the mass market in the UK. The system, which utilises a mix of sound, motion, light, heat, humidity and power sensors built in to advanced light switches, is designed to learn how a home is lived in and adjust lighting and heating to meet actual need.
Unlike smart meters and other smart home technology, the removal of the reliance on human operation means that it does not rely on homeowners to correctly programme it in order to save on energy usage and costs. For example, Wondrwall learns that the house becomes empty at 8.30 every weekday morning, and it knows the house will stay at the ideal temperature for 30 minutes, so it will automatically turn off the heating at 8.00 and switch off any lights that have been accidentally left on once the occupants have left, proactively saving energy. It will then start heating the house up again in advance of when the occupants are expected home. If your routine changes, then it has that covered too, and will recognise if someone is unexpectedly heading home early. Initial estimations suggest that Wondrwall reduces energy consumption by a minimum of 30%, cutting bills by around £350 per year for a three or four bedroom house (based on the dual fuel standard variable average tariff of £1,163 per year).
On top of the energy saving benefits, Wondrwall is an advanced home security system, programmed to recognise the sound of windows being smashed, which will not only set off an alarm, but also start flashing all the homes internal and external lights to draw attention to a potential intruder before they have even entered the property. A simulated occupancy mode also improves security for when the home is left unattended for prolonged periods of time, with Wondwall switching lights on and off at random times after the hours of darkness, making the house appear to be occupied.
With Amazon Alexa integrated in to the Wondrwall light switch, the Alexa voice assistant is accessible through-out the home. You can use your voice to control the Wondrwall functions as well as access all the traditional Alexa skills such as ask for the weather forecast, the news, who won the football the night before, order a taxi and get notified when it is on the way, order a Domino’s pizza or buy directly from Amazon.
You can play music from Amazon Music or Spotify through the speakers in the Wondrwall light switches. For superior sound quality, Wondrwall is integrated with Sonos and can control and use Sonos speakers in a home.
Wondrwall CEO, Daniel Burton, says: “Smart home technology is nothing new, but for most products to deliver a benefit they rely on the users actually using them properly, which most people don’t. We wanted to take the responsibility of using technology correctly away from the people living in a home and make the home itself intelligent enough to be intuitive. It is about making life easier and more efficient, without actually having to think about it.”
“Our system takes away many of the pet hates people have about living in a home, whether that is wasting energy heating rooms that aren’t being used, the lights in kids’ rooms being left on all the time or panicking that you forgot to set the alarm when you went out. Most importantly though, it increases the energy efficiency of living in a home and brings additional peace of mind around security.”
The Wondrwall system is initially being made available on a handful of new-build development sites across the UK, including on Kier Living’s ‘The Vines’ site, in Elburton, Devon. Kier Living executive director, John Anderson, says: “Intelligent home technology is undoubtedly the future when it comes to making our homes work smarter for those who live in them and in reducing the environmental impact of our built environment. As developers we need to be building homes that are future-proofed by making intelligent technology available to our customers. Our industry has a responsibility to support innovation and make it available to home owners, especially when the costs of implementing new technology is comparative to the build costs of the status quo.”
At a recommended retail price of £1,332 for a system suited to a three-bedroom house and £657 for a two-bed apartment, it is a similar cost to a home security system while offering considerably increased functionality. The cost for housebuilders to install during the construction process comes in at under £1,000 per family home.
Wondrwall has been in development for over four years and has undergone rigorous testing to comply with recognised energy and security standards. It can be fitted by any electrical contractor at no additional cost compared to current electrical installation, no special training is necessary, and it works off the home’s existing lighting and heating networks, so no special wiring is needed.
To see how Wondrwall works, take a look at a short video of a day in the life of our main Wondrwall show home at www.wondrwall.co.uk. We can also arrange journalist visits to one of a number of Wondrwall show homes across the UK.
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