Bedroom

Ultimately, the bedroom serves a single purpose -- to provide a place to sleep. Even in this most basic room, however, manufacturers are introducing technological solutions to improve how you use it.

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Whether you view your bedroom as a sanctuary that you never want to leave, or you're just someone hoping to get a better night's sleep, there are plenty of innovative products designed to make your personal space smarter.

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Much research has been focused on improving the room's centerpiece. Forget the basic box spring and thin mattress; even affordable beds often include motion, adjustable firmness, temperature regulation, and independent settings for each side. There are also "smart" beds that incorporate technology to monitor heart rate, breathing, motion, and more. Some of these high-tech models respond to spoken commands, while others use apps to suggest mattress adjustments based on the quality of your sleep. There are also bedding options for regulating temperature and pillows with built-in speakers.

Technology is also helping to improve safety in bedrooms. Underbed lighting makes it easier to find the restroom in the middle of the night without stumbling. Likewise, smart sensors added to bathroom lights can turn them on at a dimmed level when they sense movement, allowing you to find your way without waking a sleeping partner.

Automated lighting is growing in popularity for every room of the home, including the bedroom. It's relatively simple and affordable to install lights that can be operated by remote and programmed to particular times of day or activities, like sleeping or watching TV. Choose the lights only for the master bedroom or tie them into a whole-house system, which can also automate the thermostat for comfortable sleeping temperatures.

Light control includes windows, which are also undergoing major changes. Add various films to your existing windows to block harmful sunrays and regulate room temperatures, or to change the opacity via smartphone app for added privacy. There are even blinds and shades with motors and timers that automatically open and close them or allow homeowners to remotely adjust them for watching TV or taking a nap.

Finally, although providing a place to sleep is the bedroom's primary function, many people also watch television there. If space is too limited for a big screen, or you just don't want to see it when it's not in use, consider one of the many new hidden options. There are motorized systems for making a TV drop down from the ceiling or rise out of a bed frame or dresser. There is even talk of a "clear" TV (it's basically a see-through block of glass) that might soon hit the marketplace.

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