We went to Grand Designs Live 2011 to take a look at some of the weird and wonderful gadgets on display – browse our photo gallery for some of the highlights.
Grand Designs Live 2011 photo gallery
We handpicked a few kitchen, bathroom and garden gadgets for a closer look.
Customisable cooker hoods
Our eyes were drawn to some colourful and unusual-looking cooker hoods from Best – including the Secret model, which you can customise with your own designed front, and the circular wall-mounted chrome and white glass Equinox cooker hood.
Prices start at £1,299 – but our cooker hoods review reveals some cheaper Best Buy options.
The remote-controlled kitchen
The Petra kitchen from TM Italia takes integrated appliances to a whole new dimension. The ‘folding’ kitchen top keeps your sink, oven, hob, TV and breakfast bar tidily out of sight, and is remote controlled to reveal each appliance as and when you want to use them.
All that technology comes at a price, though – an eye-watering £135,000. For those on a somewhat tighter budget, take a look at our guide to planning a kitchen.
Interactive bathroom mirror
The Cybertecture mirror hangs on your wall like any normal bathroom mirror – but at the push of a button it can display personalised content, live feeds or downloadable apps, or transform into a TV.
It also includes exercise routines, stores and tracks your vital statistics and can even tutor kids on how to properly brush their teeth.
You can pre-programme the mirror’s settings and check your ‘health statistics’ using an individual online account, or via a smartphone app.
A green-fingered gadget
The Easy Bloom plant sensor – already available in the US – is designed to analyse the growing conditions of your garden. Place the small flower-shaped sensor into a patch of garden soil, then after 24 hours plug the USB port found inside the gadget into a computer.
You’ll get a breakdown of sunlight, temperature, soil moisture and fertility, along with recommendations on which plants or flowers are most likely to thrive – though it doesn’t appear to show you more detailed information such as soil type and pH level.
The Which? Gardening team are keen to test this product when it arrives in the UK.
Robotic, solar-powered lawnmower
We’ve seen robotic lawnmowers (along with robot vacuum cleaners) in the past, but the solar hybrid Husqvarna Automower claims to be the world’s first fully automatic lawnmower that’s partly powered by the sun.
It comes with a battery charging station as well as an integrated solar panel on its body for a secondary source of power. The lawnmower will even send a text message to your phone if something disturbs it while it’s mowing.
This lawnmower is already on sale – for a whopping £2,499. Alternatively, choose a manual Best Buy lawnmower for under £100.