With the digital age upon us and technology advancing at a rate unlike ever before, what will future homes look like in 2050?
Smarthomes are a dream of many but a reality of few. Still burdened by their costly installation and components, smarthome technology is usually integrated into modern new builds for those who can afford to front the cost. However, as technology progresses, homeowners the world over will be able to access the luxuries of smarthome technology.
Automation is a large part of smarthome technology, allowing homeowners to take complete control of their living quarters, almost without lifting a finger. Home automation systems can control anything from the lighting, temperature, airflow, sound and security – all from a central control hub or remote. No longer will you have to walk into a dark, cold home on your return from a hard day’s work. Your house can welcome you home with ambient lighting, pleasant temperatures and even set some relaxing music to help you wind down after your long commute.
Controlled remotely via an app on your smartphone, using your smart control hub or by simply telling your home what you want to do with voice controlled software such as INSTEON or devices such as Amazon Echo, setting your scene couldn’t be easier.
Wireless charging is another trend on the rise, with smartphone developers such as Samsung and Nokia (and rumours of Apple jumping on board) already integrating Qi wireless charging into their handsets to remove the need for those annoying chargers and cables. Qi enabled devices can simply be placed on a charging station where energy is transferred to the device’s battery using electromagnetic fields. The device then sends a message to the charging station to let it know when charging is complete.
The wireless charging trend is also being embraced by furniture and vehicle manufacturers such as Ikea and Chevrolet, incorporating wireless charging stations into their products. Imagine simply placing your phone on your bedside table at night and waking up to a fully charged battery in the morning – the simplest things!
Smart appliances will aid your everyday life by assisting you with everyday tasks such as grocery shopping and vacuum cleaning. LG’s Smart InstaView Refrigerator lets you track your grocery needs, expiration dates on food and even communicates with Alexa (Amazon Echo’s virtual assistant) to order your next food delivery – not only saving you time and money but also putting an end to the global food waste crisis. The automated robotic vacuum cleaner has been around for years, and if you’re really stuck for time, you can even purchase gadgets to feed your beloved pets. The Catspad smart pet feeder provides your cat with controlled food portions and running water, ensuring your cat is satisfied but not overfed – the purrfect solution for your furry friends.
For the safety conscious, smart devices can help to both prevent and alert you of potentially hazardous events. The GE Wi-Fi oven communicates with the Nest Protect smoke detector to automatically turn off if smoke is detected, whilst the First Alert OneLink Environment Monitor lets you check on the environmental status of your child’s room remotely easing the stress of worrying about your little one.
Whether you’re a gadget geek, are desperate to save time or just safety conscious, a smarthome could be the solution to an easier, more stress-free lifestyle. With most of these technologies already available to the general public, we could see smarthomes being developed for and enjoyed by all in the very near future.