The dream of a wired household became a reality this week, as the UK's first networked home was put on the market.
The £500,000 house, one of ten on a Laing Homes estate in Watford, has been equipped by networking giant Cisco with a £5,000 network and £20,000 worth of technology. Installed in the house are 72 power points, 72 cable, four Compaq PCs, four ISDN lines and four Webcams.
All electrical equipment in the house, including kettles, coffee maker, garden sprinklers, heating, lights and security system can be controlled over the Internet, either from a PC or the supplied Webpad. The installed Webcams allow each room in the house, plus images from outside, to be viewed over the Internet.
There is a video conferencing system installed for those who want minimum real contact with the outside world, along with a hand-help bar code scanner to facilitate online shopping.