From our homes to the high street, modern perceptions of luxury have been growing steadily more reliant on technology.
Here are three examples of how technology is enriching the leisurely and luxurious side of our lives:
Bars and Restaurants
In the current era of self-service, D-I-Y supermarket checkouts and online airport check-ins have become increasingly routine and effective for time-saving. Self-service has also been introduced to bars, because even though going to the pub is a social experience, nobody likes waiting to be served.
The introduction of self-service machines in bars means queuing for 20 minutes to buy a round of drinks is no longer necessary. The Thirsty Bear in Waterloo operates with iPad menus and two beer taps installed on each table – all the customer requires is a swipe card upon entry to keep a record of their bar tab.
Inamo, a restaurant in Soho, has also put service in the hands of their clientèle. The menu is projected onto a touch-pad or E-Table in front of diners, allowing them to order food and drink, learn more information about the local neighbourhood and even arrange a taxi ride home from the comfort of their table.
G2 Digital, the bespoke hardware solutions company behind the E-Table, say that the popularity of devices like iPads and smartphones have enabled the integration of modern technology into unlikely environments, and we can expect it to continue.
The Personal Cinema Experience
Having a home cinema is no longer reserved for rich households. Home projectors are now available in a range of sizes and prices to suit most requirements. In order to come as close as you can to the home cinema experience, swapping a TV for a projector may be the right option.
High definition now comes as standard for a projector at all cost levels, while the latest models come equipped to play ultra high-def 4K films and 3D movies.
Projectors are also being favoured in place of TV screens for public events. Thanks to the emergence of technical event production companies like Perception and their range of AV equipment, portable, low-cost and high-quality projectors are now a popular choice for business events, family celebrations and nightclubs.
Any space can be transformed into an event room, with the correct equipment and the advice of a good AV supplier.
The smart home is still in its early years, but it is already bursting with potential for technological innovation. Synchronisation between our lives and our homes will save us time, energy and money.
Nest Labs – acquired by Google in 2014 – have created a smart thermostat which adapts its heat settings to the homeowner’s weekly schedule and can be controlled remotely by a smartphone app.
Even one of the kitchen’s most basic appliances has been given the ‘smart’ treatment: what was once an ordinary kettle is now the iKettle. This clever appliance can be told, via a smartphone, to heat water to a specific temperature and will alert the user’s smartphone when it is ready for pouring or in need of refilling.
Smart home technology is a rapidly growing industry: the British Smart Homes Sector is valued at somewhere between £910m and £975m according to a report by the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association.