One trend is clear: energy efficiency is a high priority for homeowners.
Gone are the days of building mega mansions, today people are looking for functional spaces with built-in energy efficiencies. They want to spend time enjoying life’s many experiences instead of being tied down by a cumbersome, high maintenance home. Home automation, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence are also leading the way, responding to our desire of spending more time doing things rather than managing things. The future is all about what our daily objects can do for us.
Here’s a peek into four advances that are set to become staples in our future homes and cities.
Power Flooring, Windows and Landscaping
Do you fancy a world where a walk up your driveway produces energy that powers your home? Pavegen is making this dream a reality with a flooring system that converts the weight and motion of your footsteps, into power.
At Michigan State University, a completely transparent solar panel is being developed, ushering a new era where every window in your private home could generate solar energy. Imagine the possibilities for developers erecting sky scrapers in major cities!
Meanwhile, NewWind Arbre à Vent® is a vertical axis wind turbine that looks like a tree – which inspired its creation – and can power our homes, schools and towns. Each leaf on the tree produces electricity from the slightest waft of air within a radius of 360 degrees. It offers immediate consumption in proximity to end-use, while providing an aesthetic, emotional contribution to urban landscapes.
Control Freaks Rejoice
From apps that allow you to control your sprinklers with automated weather analytics, to refrigerators that update your shopping list via voice control, to motion sensor technology that regulates your lights and temperature controls, the internet of things will transform everything we do, even locking and unlocking our doors.
Candy House’s Sesame Smart Lock is the newest “house key” to hit the market. Not only can you control your locks with your phone, but you can also grant or revoke access to any number of people. Control goes even further with Sesame by unlocking your door with a simple, yet secret, knock.
Robots: The Newest Member of the Family
We are all familiar with Roomba, the robot vacuum and the new voice-activated Amazon Echo, but have you met Chip, the smart and lovable robot dog? Chip is intelligent, affectionate and each bot is unique as its behavior is shaped by its owner’s responses.
The world’s first social bot, Jibo – whose artificial intelligence algorithms learn your preferences to adapt and fit into your life – is a small tabletop bot that talks, entertains and even takes pictures independently.
But the most anticipated and arguably the cutest bot is Buddy. Buddy patrols your home while you are away; as a playmate, it teaches children through play; it answers calls and plays playlists; and it reminds you of important tasks and events in your agenda. Most significant is its operating system, built on an open-source platform.
It is safe to say that artificial intelligence is soon to be ubiquitous, as there will undoubtedly be “a bot for that”.
A Smart Toilet
Yes, you read that correctly.
The SpaLet toilet has sensors that detect motion – lifting the lid as your approach and flushing as you leave. The SpaLet even has a night light illuminating the bowl, a temperature control heated seat, a five position cleansing wand and a warm air dryer eliminating the need for paper. And we must not forget the built in deodoriser, eliminating odors and the need for intoxicating air-fresheners.
With rapid advances in technology outpacing our imagination, the home of the future isn’t a far fetch daydream anymore, but rather a reality. One thing is for sure, homes of the future will be judged on what they can do and how they perform, rather than the spaces that comprise them.
Cover Photo: Clearview Audio