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A look inside Australia’s smartest home

April 1, 2019 7:00 am by Upside

With voice-based services like Google Home and Amazon Alexa taking the world by storm and smart home automation systems offering more connectivity than ever, we’re entering a new phase of intelligent home design led by ground-breaking tech.

One home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs is taking tech to the next level, earning the title of Australia’s smartest home. Designed by renowned architect Jessica Hodgkinson-Carnahan, the three-bed, two-bath property dubbed the CogniPad is outfitted with futuristic mod cons most property owners could only dream of.

We asked Hodgkinson-Carnahan to take us through some of the home’s most revolutionary features.

Architectural style generator

Contrary to its unsuspecting appearance as a regular family home, the CogniPad is kitted out with a generator that can be used to change the architectural style of the property’s interiors – including everything from structural features to furnishings – at the touch of a button.

“The owners wanted to be able to change up the look and feel whenever they wanted,” says architect Hodgkinson-Carnahan. “We designed an in-built theme generator that can be used to transform the space in seconds. At the moment it has five themes – Modern, Art Deco, Victorian, Mid-Century and Renaissance – but we’re working on rolling out additional themes over the next year.”

State-of-the-art invisibility switch

Given the CogniPad’s recent widespread media coverage, the property’s owners were understandably concerned about privacy and wanted a feature that would enable them to avoid nosy onlookers. That’s when Hodgkinson-Carnahan came up with the idea for the invisibility switch.

“The invisibility switch is great for when the owners want to lay low and avoid the media frenzy,” she says. “It took a bit of tinkering to get it right, but we’re happy to say the property now has the functionality to be completely invisible – even in the middle of a bright, sunny day.”

Multi-directional flying functionality

The days of packing a suitcase to travel are long gone for the CogniPad’s owners, who can literally take the entire house with them thanks to its multi-directional flying functionality. Hodgkinson-Carnahan says it works best on short trips, but the ultimate goal is to be able to take it around the world.

“Currently, the CogniPad can travel as far as Jervis Bay down south or Terrigal up north,” she says, “but we’re working on extending the infrared capabilities so the owners can make it to Uluru before Christmas.”

Dougie the friendly robot butler

Of course, no smart home would be complete without the ultimate assistant, and Dougie the robot butler is on hand to help 24/7 at the CogniPad. Designed using cutting-edge Japanese robotics, Dougie can do everything from cook gourmet meals and midnight snacks, to give you a foot massage after work or offer a sympathetic ear after a bad day.

robot butler

“Dougie’s like that super friendly guy who works at the corner shop,” says Hodgkinson-Carnahan. “He’s always smiling but not in a creepy way. He’s just hardwired, literally, to help whenever you need it.”


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