“My home is my castle” – this saying reveals just how important our homes are to us: this is where we feel comfortable and safe. The digital revolution is changing the way we live and allowing smart homes to be designed. Many scientists in Germany are conducting research into innovative technologies and concepts. In this edition we present some exciting ideas and projects. You can also read our interview with the winner of the 2015 Deutscher Zukunftspreis, learn about current funding programmes and discover why a tiny fresh water organism is spared the ageing process.