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(Pocket-lint) - "And over here is the HomePod…" explains Ken Forster, Managing Director of Trivselhus UK, to Pocket-lint.

It is not a phrase you expect to hear on a tour of a show home up for sale, but then the house that Forster is showing us isn't any ordinary home.

It's one of 39 in a new housing development, Sommar Place, in Milton Keynes. They're being sold as "smart homes" and each comes with a full range of the latest Apple products to get you started.

The company specialises in building energy efficient Swedish style homes in the UK and it hopes the move will be popular amongst new homeowners looking to not only enjoy a more efficient home, but a smarter one.

"We wanted to make sure [technology] touches all areas of the home. It needed to be comprehensive rather than a token gesture," explains Paul Armstrong, Trivselhus' Technical Director, detailing why the company has included the range of different Apple HomeKit-enabled products. 

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Not just a token gesture 

Rather than merely offer a smart speaker or maybe some smart lights the houses, which range in size from two-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom terraced townhouses (and cost between £250,000 and £450,000) will come packed with tech including smart lights, smart switches, smart radiators, and smart security, all powered by Apple HomeKit enabled devices and controlled by a bevy of included Apple devices like the Apple TV, Apple HomePod, and iPod, and even an Apple Watch.

The experience starts the moment you step up to the front door with a Netatmo Presence external security camera and a Danalock smart door lock. The later, not due out till April in the UK, allows you to open the front door either with a standard "Yale" key or a quick voice command to Siri.

Once in the home, the tech continues with Lightwave sockets and switches to control the lights and anything plugged in, to Netatmo Smart Thermostat and Netatmo radiator thermostatic valves on all of the radiators in the house.

Two-thirds of the sockets are HomeKit enabled, while most of the light switches in the house are "smart", too, with Armstrong and his team working with the company's architects to try and position them in the most practical places to maximise efficiency.

Elsewhere the company has used Elgato door and window sensors to enhance security, motion sensors to detect movement at night on the landing, and LiFX lights to bring a bit of colour and excitement to the proceedings.

HomeKit at the heart of the house

"The key to this is working with someone who understands what the consumer wants. That's why we've partnered with Apple," adds Forster when we ask about the tech choices the company has made over say Google Home or Amazon's Echo device with Alexa.

The pair explain that using HomeKit instead of a system like Crestron enables them to benefit from all the work Apple has done to make the system secure and simple to use, but also give future homeowners something special without adding hugely to the total cost of the home.

"To date, this level of connected technology integrated into the build of a new property has only been available in multi-million pound, bespoke smart homes.

"The technology has been available to retrofit, but this inevitably results in controls that are fragmented and therefore less seamless to use. It's our mission at Trivselhus to develop family homes that have a positive impact on how people live," says Forster.

It's something, on further discussion, was clearly important to the company as Armstrong explains how they tried to avoid multiple "hubs" in the downstairs cupboard. It's one of the reasons the company opted for LiFX rather than Phillips Hue for example.

Those HomeKit integrations also allow them to easily let new homeowners include scenes and automation, as well as setting the mood with a voice command such as 'movie night' that can bring the window blinds down, dim the lights, turn up the heating on Apple TV, or merely having the kettle boil when you walk in the front door. 

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Security first, smarts second

According to Forster and Armstrong, the list of possible tech to include was extensive, but not everything was suitable. The pair go onto explain to us that the tech needs to be safe and secure:

"We don't want to sell a house that isn't secure. If we sell someone a house where someone can get past the front door lock, we would be in serious trouble. We aren't in the business of taking risks."

It's clear from wandering around the new show home, that the focus here is making sure the devices in the home work as a traditional home first with the smart integration exciting, but not essential.

The door is unlockable with a key, the lights still turn on with a switch, and the plugs still let you plug your devices in.

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Moving in day

On completion, you're not only handed your keys, but also a box of tech goodies to set up. The full list of HomeKit enabled accessories and Apple gear included as standard are: 

Entertainment / Fun

  • Apple iPad
  • Apple TV 4K
  • Apple HomePod
  • Apple iPod touch 

Energy control/monitoring

  • Netatmo Smart Thermostat
  • Netatmo radiator thermostatic valves
  • Lightwave RF Link Plus hub
  • Lightwave RF 2 gang sockets
  • Lightwave RF 1 gang light switches


  • LIFX bulbs (E27 screw fitting)


  • Elgato Eve Motion
  • Netatmo Presence - external security camera
  • Elgato Door & window
  • Logitech Circle 2 Camera
  • Danalock

Health & wellness

  • Apple Watch Series 3
  • Netatmo Healthy Home Coach


  • Linksys Velop (2-pack system)
  • HDMI lead (for Apple TV connection to TV)

It's a comprehensive list, although Trivselhus says you won't need to set up wireless passwords on day one to get started.

The company has also made sure there is a decent internet broadband connection already set up and ready to go for when you move in.

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Not just Milton Keynes

We ask Forster whether this is just a pet project to sound cool or something the company are really heavily investing in. The answer for smart home fans who don't necessarily want to live in Milton Keynes is promising.

Future-proof your home with Swann's connected Wi-Fi Alert Sensors

The company tells Pocket-lint that this is the first of many. The next development is already in the works near Cirencester in the Cotswolds, with plans to build a further 1,000 smart homes over the next 2 to 3 years in the UK already in place.

And with other developers likely to follow suit, the chances are, if you're looking to move in the next couple of years, key questions aren't necessarily going to be around school catchment, but just how smart the home you about to buy really is.

Check out our guide to the best smart lighting: Philips Hue, IKEA, Osram and more


Home Security Week (8-12 August) in association with Ezviz. Find all the latest content on our hub.

A global leader in smart home security, EZVIZ is dedicated to building next-level security solutions powered by intelligent video, advanced AI and cloud infrastructure. With footprint in 130+ countries, we've been trusted by millions of families who enjoy visual protection and tangible joy provided by our products.

Writing by Stuart Miles.