Most of us have wondered what the future will look like: will there be flying cars and floating highways? How about a little pill that somehow contains a filet mignon and a nice glass of merlot? While these musings may still be the stuff of sci-fi movies, there have been some startling developments in seemingly futuristic technology. One industry that has seen a particular boom is home technology.
Not too long ago we may have thought that streaming music from a lightbulb or controlling household appliances from our phones was an outlandish notion, but the idea of a “smart home” is something that has been increasingly permeating our culture recently. Great strides are already being taken towards homes that are entirely automated, so what are some remarkable tech trends that are currently available? And what could the future hold?
Controlling your home from your smartphone is already possible. Image by P1.
When it comes to home tech, there are several buzzwords you hear more than others; “automation” is one of them, and this is a stimulating area for manufacturers and home owners alike. Have you ever wished you could control your whole home from your smartphone or Apple watch? You can now remotely control and automate schedules for most household appliances no matter where you are. This can considerably reduce your energy bills as well as help protect your property.
While all areas of a home are now being reevaluated in terms of technology, one area has been largely ignored – until now. While you may never have given much thought to your carpet or flooring other than aesthetics and comfort, thanks to a company called Future Shape you may never look at your floor the same way again.
Future Shape are pioneering automation technology based on sensors installed beneath your flooring, meaning that depending on where and how you step, different triggers will be set in motion for lighting, automatic doors, fall detection, alarm systems, water leak detection and more. This revolutionary advance is taking automation to the next level.
The most exciting aspect of these home tech trends is that many new technologies are serving to protect the people that live in the property. Perhaps more than any other sector of home technology, home security has seen a boom as far as progression goes. Intricate yet inexpensive, lighting solutions are doing some heavy lifting when it comes to protecting properties: pressing a button and having your whole home light up as you approach your property could offer significant protection.
Taking a look at some of the current home tech trends, it can be difficult to see how we can advance even further. However, in the not-so-distant future tech progressions could completely change the way we live.
Many people dread opening their mailbox each month and opening bills from their utility providers. For years there haven’t been many options aside from relying on getting your electricity from an outside party; however, Tesla recently announced a battery that could power your home. This would enable many properties to go entirely “off the grid” and not only save money each month, but protect the environment too.
The majority of publicity surrounding the smart home has been focused on where it’s heading; after all, having total control and customization for all aspects of your house is an intriguing concept. Up until now you had to be Bill Gates in order to have a property that knows precisely when your favorite maple tree needs watering, but this could be changing sooner than we think. By 2018, China will have put in $22.8 billion dollars into smart home development – this means that the real boom could only be a few years away. Get ready to wake up and smell the coffee – automatically.
While smart homes may be on the forefront of home tech trends, there is an even more intriguing piece of technology that is on the horizon. What if you could design your home on your computer and then simply print out all the pieces? This is less far-fetched than it sounds.
The 3DXL exhibition by the Design Exchange has shown what this could mean. Instead of focusing on the normal smaller scale objects we have seen with 3D printers, 3DXL focuses on radically larger scaled pieces. The wheels are already in motion to build a complete home solely from 3D printed materials. The possibilities may still seem rooted in science fiction but they could be reality before we know it.
So what aspect of the home technology landscape is most important and exciting to you?
Image Credit: Flickr/John Blower