Since even before we were promised ovens that warmed our food in seconds thanks to invisible 'micro waves', we've been fascinated by how technology could make it easier for us to eat, relax and generally laze about. We visited the Virgin Media Ideal Home of the Future at the Ideal Home Show in London's Earl's Court to see how we'll be living in years to come.

Virgin showed off a demo of its 200Mb broadband, currently being trialled in Coventry. That sort of speed is still a way off, but the company reckons it will be providing some customers with 100Mb broadband by the end of 2010.

The home of the future is packed with gadgets selected with the help of The Gadget Show's Suzi Perry, from a bath that fills itself when it detects you nearing the house to a toothbrush that checks your gob for biometric data and sends a health update to your doctor. Outside your future gaff is a secure, refridgerated dropbox for your online shopping, so there's no excuse to be late for work when you were waiting for the Ocado man.

This year's home of the future is all about the the 'Internet of things', a philosophy of connecting everyday objects to the Web via RFID tags in stuff around the household. Examples include picking up your umbrella to trigger weather reports appearing on your TV, or your house detecting that your keys have arrived to tell friends and family that you are home safe.

Click 'Continue' to see how we'll be living in years to come, which will apparently involve wall-mounted moose saving us from fires, re-using water, and never getting out of bed.

The Ovei Pod is a brooding, mirrored ball squatting in the corner of your flat like a round version of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Then it opens, like Darth Vader's chamber in The Empire Strikes Back.
The inside and outside of the hand-made capsule can be finished in different colours, with your choice of gaming and home-entertainment kit inside.
The Roca W+W is a washbasin and water closet in one. It recycles water from the sink to flush the toilet, making use of 'grey water' that would otherwise be wasted.
What do you call a blind stag? No idea. This particular wall-mounted feature is in fact a smoke and fire detector. The concept, called Echo, is hard-wired into the mains. That means you can't whip the battery out when you burn the toast and then forget to put it back. It also means detectors and alarms can be wired together via a network that already exists in your house: your wiring. It's similar to the HomePlug Internet connection, and means that if smoke is detected in one room the alarm will go off in every room, so it's guaranteed to alert you. The Fire Brigade were involved in the development of Echo, which won this year's Ideal Home Inventor of the Year. If you're not a-moosed by the design, there are various options, including a hat rack.
We find it hard enough to get out of bed as it is, and our beds don't contain a high-resolution projector and built-in games consoles. The HiCan -- or High Fidelity Canopy -- is packed with entertainment gear.
Poke a button on the remote and blinds automatically lower all around the bed. The projector then beams movies and games on to the blind.
Each HiCan can be custom-fitted with your choice of entertainment gear.
The Ideal Home Show also features an indoor marina.
Floating in the marina is the H2Office. Geddit? It's a floating office, with a deck on top for meetings.
The Show is also full of hot tubs. Hot tubs everywhere, we're not kidding. This one is our favourite because it's got a bike in it. Tell us what you'd like to see in your ideal home of the future in the comments below.


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