Get lost in the Hatfield suburbs and you could stumble across Orange's vision of the future - Orange at Home, with more gadgets and gizmos than an episode of the Jetsons.
Designed as a showcase for emerging and future technology, the Orange Home is a converted detached house with everything from high-speed wireless Lans to voice-activated lighting controls, all set to carry out those tiresome everyday tasks like running a bath.
As a research centre, it has had two sets of technology-savvy families (kids included) living-in, over a five- to six-week period, but as yet no comments from the residents have been released.
According to an Orange spokesperson, "The research element of Orange at Home is serious and confidential, and families are not available for comment on the research."
So far costing £2m to develop, the Orange Home looks set to be an expensive experiment in finding out which gadgets are useful and which aren't. For instance, light switches will be reintroduced, as a mobile-controlled version has proved a flop.
It is unlikely whether any house in the future will be quite like this, with owners talking to their house, and ordering their weekly shopping with one voice command.
However, the technology is definitely seeping into the everyday world.
Depending on your viewpoint, the future may well be Orange, but it isn't necessarily bright.
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