Get Smart: Tech-Forward Homes Around the Globe

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By Jenny Xie / Published by Dwell
From midcentury gems to oceanside retreats, these properties exhibit how technology enhances the home.

As technology continues to permeate each facet of life, streamlining our day-to-day routines, homes are growing smarter as well. Follow us from Santa Barbara to Dubai as we visit nine homes that demonstrate how tech-powered amenities contribute to the modern lifestyle. The function of each system varies from home security to climate control, but the goal of simplicity, efficiency, and reliability are the same.

New Canaan, Connecticut

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Originally built by architect Eliot Noyes of the legendary Harvard Five, this midcentury home in New Canaan, Connecticut, was renovated by builder Dave Prutting and architect Joeb Moore. The natural material palette of wood and stone lends a warmth to the home while generous windows provide views of the peaceful landscape. Smart amenities like an indoor/outdoor Savant audio system and Lutron controls for all the lights update an iconic design.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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A smart home system outfits this 13,400-square-foot penthouse on the 45th floor of Dubai’s prestigious Le Rêve, putting the control of lighting, shades, climate, and music at your fingertips through a smartphone or tablet. Designed and furnished by French architect Jean Louis Mainguy, this four-bedroom residence epitomizes luxury living with tech-powered convenience accompanied by stunning views of the Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Eye.

Bellevue, Washington

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Named "Alta Vista" for its 180-degree views of Bellevue, Seattle, and the surrounding mountains and lakes, this home benefits from both the natural environment and state-of-the-art technology. A Ring Wi-Fi enabled video doorbell allows you to see who’s at your door while programmable motion sensors can trigger alarms, control music, and adjust lighting. From the designer LED chandelier to smart garage controls to Amazon Echo Dot integration, this residence is tailored to the tech-savvy homeowner.

Sydney, Australia

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Perched on a bluff, this five-bedroom dwelling in Sydney enjoys unparalleled views of Middle Harbor and Bantry Bay. After you’ve gotten your fill of the scenery, automatic Silent Gliss blinds descend for privacy, and motorized awnings protect against excessive heat. Smart home wiring and a security intercom extend throughout the property. Boasting a solar-heated pool and located near rainforests and beaches, the home is a high-tech retreat in a natural paradise.

Miami Beach, Florida

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Powered by Savant, this five-bedroom smart home in Miami Beach, Florida, features automatic cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Standing in close proximity to South Beach and downtown, this gated residence is both accessible and secure.

Santa Barbara, California

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Tech entrepreneur Michael Barnick was retired when he started designing this oceanfront home in Santa Barbara, California, but he became so deeply involved in the home’s gadgetry that he founded Quantum Integration, a company that installs home automation systems. High-tech amenities permeate this home: its lighting, temperature, entertainment, window shades, fireplaces, and door locks can be controlled remotely by tablet or smartphone. As an added touch, driving through the gates triggers the lights to turn on, the garage to open, and the fountain to start running.

Nassau, Bahamas

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Overlooking the aptly named Paradise Island, this beachfront estate in Nassau claims over 120 feet of private coastline. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow expansive views of the water while a media room and 116-inch projection screen offer alternative entertainment. It is one of the few homes in the Bahamas with fiber optic cables installed throughout, and a custom iPad interface controls everything from lighting to air conditioning.

Scottsdale, Arizona

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Built in 2015, the Spanish Colonial architecture of this residence in Scottsdale, Arizona, houses a contemporary interior. A sprawling backyard and outdoor kitchen encourage a flow between inside and outside while the home’s smart technologies—a Creston Home Automation System, Lutron lighting, automated shade controls, and a surveillance system—complement the modern lifestyle.

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