If you’re familiar with Charlie Brooker’s excellent drama Black Mirror, and, more importantly, the second episode of the first series, ’15 Million Merits’ (and if you’re not – why not?) then you’ve seen a dystopian vision of the kind of future that is hurtling toward us faster than Ed Sheeran’s inexplicably soaring career. Yes, as we all become counter intuitively obsessed with staring doe-eyed at LCD, LED, LAPD screens, the world around us is also encompassing the kind of vast technological achievements we’re putting in our pocket and still calling a phone. This goes for the home as well, and whilst the type of kit available to consumers right now is fairly limited, there’s whole lot of work going into creating the veritable House of Tomorrow at some of the world’s biggest tech companies, behind the scenes. Here’s what we know of the future home….
Personal Data Mirror
Let’s start with the mirror then, why not?! Researchers, commonly referred to as ‘geniuses’, at the New York Times Lab have come up with the Personal Data Mirror, something that must have been the source material for that aforementioned episode of Black Mirror. As you’ve probably guessed, this mirror is hooked up to the world wide interwebs, and as well as seeing your charming, smiling face beaming back at you, you’ll also be treated to a dashboard, offering up weather updates, a calendar, and health related data, as well as news and social plugins.
The mirror is controlled by voice commands and motion, but cleverly, includes features such as item recognition – pick up your toothbrush and the mirror will automatically display a timer, and 3 minutes worth of scrolling news. Hideously clever, and also healthy!
Similarly, at this years’ CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Samsung showed off the Smart Window, a transparent screen that allowed you to not only see outside, but edit the image by a dashboard appearing on the transparent touch screen. Digital blinds, a change of scenery, news, television, all available at the flick of a wrist in front of your window!
The Smart Home
The Smart Home, an ideal envisioned by the ThinkBig Factory, is a house wherein a digital layer connects the house and everything in it to the internet, projecting telematics, data and more onto the walls and furniture throughout the home.
Best of all, it’s a working prototype, which means the kind of technology contained within isn’t some wacko’s implausible pipe dream. With a full trailer style video for the homes full array of effects and features its inhabitants may utilize. From the wall next to your bed displaying your alarm clock, the calendar, your email inbox and the temperature, to incoming Skype calls appearing as full scale people on the living room wall. In the promo video, the guinea pig is even seen waving an arm to change the stark, white living space in its entirety to display a video of a bustling street, then to a calming ocean beach, and finally to an entirely mood-altering, standard-looking wallpaper and carpet. Imagine redecorating with the wave of an arm.
One wall displays a huge Twitter feed, with a Spotify playlist and digital to do notes all dotted around the operating space. Tetris is played on the living room floor, whilst the space next to a phone plugged into the mains displays the % left to go and any incoming messages. It’s mind blowing stuff. We jest at talking to our phones and Xbox’s, but before long, we’ll be having full blown arguments with the dining room wall, and begging the kitchen sink to turn the warm water on!
Closer to home, the already-available Home Automation currently being supplied by a range of companies allows your lights, blinds, curtains music, video monitoring and any other number of home devices, to be controlled remotely, via your iPhone.
Indeed, recent Kickstarter accomplishment SmartThings is based upon such an idea, allowing any item connected to a mains supply, and a few that aren’t, to be easily configured to be controlled via a range of apps on your phone. Everything from keeping track of where your pet is in your home (or not!) to opening and closing doors remotely.
So there we have it, a look at the future home we could all be experiencing soon. Are you excited about a digital home where your walls supply all the information you need? Does a persistently connected community scare you? Or are you jumping on all this techy wizardry early and purchasing home integration devices as we speak!? Let us know!
This article was written by Rob Vicars on behalf of Trade Price Tiles. For a great-looking and practical flooring solution in the house of today, or tomorrow, Trade Price Tiles deliver!