The Arduino platform lends itself well to home automation (for example) and another example of this has been demonstrated by university students Jiayuan Wang and Sheng Zhang. They have used a voice-recognition IC to enable user input to control various lighting, heating and entertainment devices in their test system. Furthermore the voice-control section of the system is connected to the main unit wireless via XBee data transceivers, allowing a more user-friendly approach.
Considering this was a university project, it shows promise and is an excellent demonstration of the concept. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you found the project above interesting - but not sure how to start with Arduino - then the best way to learn is with our Experimenter's Kit for Arduino:
The package includes a wide variety of parts, sensors and modules including: a servo motor, lights, buttons, switches, sound, sensors, breadboard, wires and more. Furthermore a Freetronics Eleven Arduino-compatible board is included to make this an extensive hobby experimenter, inventor and starter kit. However we don't leave you alone to figure it all out, included is a great project and instruction booklet, plus access to a supporting web page and software examples. In other words - this is everything you need to get started for a fun range of electronics and Arduino related projects!