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Smart Home

Amazon opens doors on shop for smart lightbulbs and robot hoovers

Amazon has gathered together its home automation devices into a new store full of phone-controlled thermostats and other doohickeys that make your digs digital.

Nest Thermostat
Home automation makes your home smarter than the average bear. Nest

Smartening up your digs used to involve running a jay cloth over the curtains and whacking a few licks of paint over the more obvious mould patches -- but nowadays a smart home means Web-connected lightbulbs, phone-controlled washing machines and robot lawnmowers. Today Amazon has opened the doors on a new Home Automation Store for UK abodes.

The UK store gathers together smart devices that make your home that little bit cleverer: for example, the lights switch on or off when you walk in or out of a room, or you can turn the heating off while you're out using an app on your phone.

The new store is packed with kit designed to work in British homes. It's divided into several sections, starting with energy management, where light bulbs, thermostats, power outlets and accessories and lighting control modules live.

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The next aisle is monitoring and security, including cameras and webcams, keyless locks and alarms. Then there's network kit such as tablets, routers, modems, power line network adapters and network attached storage.

In the shed are the robot vacuum cleaners, while in the living room there's a wealth of connected TVs, Blu-ray players, streaming media players and home audio hardware.

Home automation is poised to be the next big frontier in technology. Google, for example, has spent a whopping £1.9 billion on Nest, the company that just launched the Nest Thermostat in Britain -- although in a blow to the home automation cause, it also recently pulled the Nest Protect smoke alarm from sale over safety concerns.

Would you invite smart devices into your home? Do you trust home automation? Would you ditch your keys for a smartphone, your hoover for a Roomba ? Make yourself at home in the comments.