Hardware components
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Smart home automation kit has been launched

19 December 2014 Last updated at 00:11 GMT

The do-it-yourself electronics maker littleBits has released a "smart home" automation kit.

It contains snap-together hardware components which you can use for a huge range of applications - from making sensors that text you when the laundry is done, to opening your curtains when the sun comes up.

Entrepreneur Ayah Bdeir started the company in 2011, and says she wants littleBits to become like "the IKEA of gadgets". But are the colourful building blocks more fun than functional?

The BBC's North American technology correspondent Richard Taylor spoke to the littleBits founder - and set out to automate his life.

You can follow Richard on Twitter @RichTaylorBBC