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London - Boldly going where no man has gone before is, as yet, beyond its powers.

But for beaming you up to the bedroom from the sitting room, this could be perfect.

Especially if you don’t mind giving up a corner of yourhome to a glass-panelled pod that looks like a Star Trek-style transporter crossed with a shower cubicle.

Measuring 3ft 8in (about 110cm) at its widest, the hexagonal pod travels from floor to floor using a hydraulic mechanism hidden in the two pillars at its rear. The contraption’s “load capacity” is 39 stone (about 247kg), meaning two people can easily use it at once.

Terry Lifts, the makers of the “Lifestyle home lift”, which costs £13 000 to £15 000, have billed it as “a lift to future-proof your home” and claim it is “designed to make your life easier, allowing you to travel between floors smoothly, quietly, safely and in style.”

They see it as appealing to the increasing number of “empty nesters” who want to stay at home rather than downsize to a single storey house or retirement village, but who might be struggling with the stairs.

John McSweeney, sales and marketing director for the business, which is based in Knutsford in Cheshire, said: “Most people see home lifts as a prohibitively expensive luxury. Traditionally, home lifts have been bulky, requiring a lift shaft and, therefore, are impractical and unaffordable for most. At the other end of the spectrum are wheelchair platform lifts and stair lifts. However, many people do not want this type of product in their homes.

“Ultimately, the Lifestyle lift offers a simple and relatively inexpensive alternative ... for those who are starting to struggle with the stairs, yet don’t want to move house.”

The lift works without needing to build a shaft or floor pit. Installation includes cutting a hexagonal hole in the ceiling for it to pass through and the lift’s roof is then covered with the original floor so that when it is downstairs it does not intrude upstairs.

Around 200 have already been sold in the UK. The pod exterior is available in black or white and inside it features a fold-up seat, a hand rail and dimmable ceiling downlights. It is controlled via a wall console or a remote control and has touch sensitive edges so it stops if it hits a piece of furniture that has accidentally been left in its way, rather than crush it.

Daily Mail