Since the advent of the iPhone in 2007 technology has exploded into just about every aspect of our lives. One part that has been a little slower on the uptake is tech built into homes. This is more than likely because most homes last 100+ years, meaning most people live in homes that were built before the technology boom.
That will likely not be the case for the next five years, however. It is expected that new homes will come connected and ready to please even the most technologically savvy mind. In fact, some estimates say that nearly half of U.S. households will be smart by 2020.
Here are a few trends to keep an eye out for in the next 5-10 years.
Lighting is one area where we can expect strong growth. This is because lighting is one area that hasn’t changed much in past years. Many futuristic movies feature soft lights that emerge from the floor, corners, appliances, etc. This is a trend that will continue with new homes. You can expect to see new homes have lights all over the place. Many of these lights will be controlled by sensors that sense when people are in the room, what the activity in the room is, etc. They will be able to change colors based on mood as well.
Samsung made waves last year with the advent of the first smart fridge, and thus began home automation. Basically a fridge with a built in iPad that could do things like control the temperature of the fridge, keep track of when different items were placed in the fridge, and even show a camera to see what is in the fridge (heaven forbid someone actually be forced to open the door).
You can expect appliances to communicate with each other as well. Many appliances such as the washer and dryer will work together, likely becoming one machine. You will be able to throw in laundry and tell it when you want it to be done, and come back to fresh laundry.
Appliances will also be connected to the internet. You can tell your smart vacuum to clean the floors because you have guests coming, or you can tell your fridge to start thawing some meat for dinner.
Another area where advancements can be expected is trash and waste. Who doesn’t get sick of opening the cupboard under the sink and smelling an old banana that someone put in there? Expect the home to take care of trash and waste in the future. The best scenario will be the home actually utilizing trash and waste for energy, or something else that is useful.
Most homes will come with built-in 3D printers that can do a variety of tasks. Imagine your chairs are starting to get old, so you tell your home you want new chairs. The home pops up some options that it can make, orders the materials online, and builds the chairs to your specification.
Food is something most people still spend a lot of time making. This will change with the future. Imagine every meal being as easy as a crockpot meal. It is expected that food will become largely automated through a variety of appliances. The real question is whether or not a computer can put together as good of a recipe as your mom.
It is an exciting time to be alive! Things are changing incredibly quickly. Stay up-to-date with technology and you will likely have an exciting and ever-changing life. The biggest thing that slows down progress is people’s willingness to accept it.