WASHINGTON - Humans have yet to be "beamed" from room-to-room, but newly built homes are adapting the latest technology and embracing society's love for gadgets.
The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted some new tech-savvy tools that are reshaping homebuilding, all of which were featured at the International Builder's Show in Las Vegas last week.
Upgrading electrical outlets may be the wave of the future. Replacing traditional, two-plug outlets with one traditional plug and two USB ports will allow mobile device users to charge their gadgets without the use of a "middle man." The updated outlet is from Leviton, of Melville, N.Y. and is priced at $20.
See how it works:
Remember when refrigerators with ice makers were new and exciting? Now, GE Appliances' Café French Door refrigerator is the hottest item - literally. The Journal reports it's the industry's first fridge that can quickly heat 10 ounces of water and can even remove traces of pharmaceuticals in the water. The refrigerator will cost about $3,200.
See the refrigerator's features:
And for those homebuyers who hate stairs, the Journal reports more elevators are being built in new, upscale homes. Residential Elevators Inc. builds smaller units with interiors made of mirrors, leather or wood.
On the more practical side, some new homes could end up being built with generators. GE Generator Systems has a new generator that is smaller and more compact, which may make it more appealing in urban areas.
Saunas also are making a comeback on the home building front, with sales strong in New York, Florida, the Midwest and California, according to the Journal.
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