What Shall be the Smart Homes Like in the Next 100 Years?
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
One of the greatest thinkers and sociologist of the 20th Century Alvin Toffler in his book “The Powershift and Third Wave” stated that the world is changing fast and changes that took place in the world during last four hundred years is more than the changes that took place in last 10,000 years. He further states that similarly, the changes that took place in the last 40 years are more than that took place in the last 400 years. We may add that even the changes in the last ten years are more than as changes over the previous 40 years.
In view of the same, it is almost like an impossibility to think of 100 years when artificial intelligence, machine learning, 3D Printers, Robotic Engineering and Technology etc., are in the NASCENT stage of development. Hence, though “Samsung” has prepared a report on what a smart house would be in the coming 100 years, we would not like to stretch our imagination beyond 25 years for the future homes; for even that would be more poetic & fictional.
It has got to be one of the toughest questions to crack, which is somewhat ironical as a lot of innovative leaps in digital tech have already made fiction come alive. To be more specific, gadgets such as star trek communicators are a reality these days. Thanks to smart phones, as it can stream live data and images and even enable you to hold video conferences in real-time as well. Another movie tech which deserves mention here is the advent of VR or virtual reality tech with most of the top software companies already offering a smattering of VR related services. Naturally, as far as smart homes are considered, it is expected that fiction would indeed become a reality.
Predicting the Future
Smart Home of the Future
When it comes to predicting the future, we humans tend to suck at it, big time. Well, we have had H.G.Wells make his prediction of things to come, where dictatorships would control the air and space above. Out of the predictions that he made, so many of his predictions for the future came true in the ensuing years that he is sometimes called “the Father of Futurism.” To add to the mix, Buck Roger’s and the 25th century who predicted that smart phones as well as a smattering of another tech, is already part of our reality today. But what should interest you is the fact that Samsung, one of the leading providers in smart home tech/ automation products has released a report that captures the essence of what the ordinary, smart home of a common man would be like in 100 years. Read on to know more.
Smart Home – Artificial Intelligence
Due to the ever-expanding applications of AI, it will not only change our way of working and our workplaces, but will also change the way we live in our homes. It is widely expected that AI (artificial intelligence), would play a pivotal role where one’s home is concerned. AI would likely be in charge of almost every aspect of your home, from adjusting the thermostat to cooking your dinner. AI-driven home automation systems will certainly offer peace of mind to homeowners as it will take care of convenience, home security, and energy efficiency and make life and living comfortable. Just check out the Jetsons, and you will get an idea of what intelligent homes shall be like, in the future: We have seen the old movies back in the 1960’s predicting robotic vacuums which have now become absolutely main stream in everyone’s home. The same films which have shown us the smart blinds, intelligent lighting, VR headsets, and virtual assistants have become the devices we use nowadays. It is now clear that robots will be the future of households along with home automation.
A future smart home would be like the one with sensors installed in a lot of devices around the home. Sensors and the devices to which they shall be connected will enhance and provide a powerful understanding of the smart home. This sensing fabric will drive a whole new range of business opportunities and applications, starting from smart home security systems to personalized entertainment systems and smart city management.
According to ‘Arthur Mamou-Mani, et. al’ (Published in Smart Things Future Living Report), the buildings themselves will be capable of adapting to the needs of its inhabitants and the external environment. Based on sensors and user-interfaces, terraces will open up when drones arrive or when solar radiations are too high and will retract again when the interiors are too cold.
It is expected that homes would become a lot more energetic as the human population grows at an exponential rate. But this will simultaneously lead to several natural resources being stressed out as well. And the major concern is, habitable spaces shall no longer be that readily available.
Now, imagine smart homes where the walls and floors are made of malleable material that adjusts its shape and size according to the number of people and current functionality. According to ‘Arthur Mamou-Mani, et. al’ (Published in Smart Things Future Living Report), with the concept of smart homes, these smart walls will be able to change their own shape in 3D by using small responsive actuators pushing and pulling a flexible skin – creating temporary seats or shelves. This would enable you to save the essential space, and help you reconfigure the interior spaces of your home as per your current requirements.
Decorations and Background
Imagine being able to change the background images as well as any interior decorations on demand. And think, that would be all just on your finger tip! Wouldn’t that be amazing? This something miraculous is supposed to be one of the things that you can expect with smart homes in the future. For instance, you should be able to choose a beach setting or for that matter, any other, for your interior decorations and even make your furniture match with the theme you have selected. This should enable your smart home to stand out for the right reasons.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things
IoT or Internet of things will continue to play a pivotal role as far as smart homes are concerned. Your home would be fully networked to the extent that you will use your smart glasses to search online, to find your lost keys or to track the current location of a family member. While this may sound farfetched, by the time the Google glasses must have already turned into a reality and set out in the market, and so shall be the smart glasses. The tech is already available, and it is evolving rapidly. The same can be said for IoT devices as well.
Manufacturing at Home
01. 3D Printing
3D printers are still being tested for industrial applications, but it is expected that every smart home in the future will feature 3D printers in a big way. However, when it comes to household manufacturing, we look for something that is economical, within our budget and precisely small. At this point of time, 3D printing is the ruling champion of this interesting space, being not too exorbitant and not too big. Again, it should be noted that 3D printers are the closest thing that’s currently available to the series and movie, star trek where food somehow magically appears out of thin air. And it is expected that with 3D printers, all your future amenities shall be taken care of – right from clothes to food to even the latest model cars. You should be able to churn out whatever you need – all that’s required is the design, and you shall soon have whatever you need in the blink of an eye!
3D Printing has the power to revolutionize and democratize the production of goods from food to medical supplies. In future, 3D printing will make its way into your homes, business, disaster sites, and even outer space. As this technology spreads, it could help in connecting the marginalized and most of the population with the essential products. 3D printing is being explored as a perfect solution for the current and future levels of hunger and smart homes. 3D printers will be used to design and create products which are needed within a very limited amount of time.
Robots Cleaning the Floor
‘Robot’ has become almost a household name today. Sooner or later these robots are going to be part of our lives. Robot is an automatic apparatus or device that performs functions ascribed to human beings or operates with what appears to be almost human intelligence. The Robots can perform all that a human being can do. The day doesn’t seem far when government will promote the use of Robots where the dignity and safety of human being is jeopardized as a worker. Thus, Robots will play an important role not only in construction of houses but also in maintenance and operation of houses and related services.
I recently came across one article by NASA which mentions that a screw was manufactured in the international space station itself with the help of 3D Printer. We do not see it very far when the house itself will also become a small manufacture centre with the help of 3D Printers for small and petty items. Thus, work from home shall no longer remain a domain of official or original work, but shall be useful for manufacturing as well.
02. Healthcare, Health, & Education
Automated Medical Pods for Patients
The technology has already made its way through the fields of medicines, health and education. Health and wellness are already seeing several innovative technologies being incorporated in, with video consultations, central medical databases, and platforms that can enable a doctor to monitor his patient remotely and minutely. However, in the future, you can expect smart homes to feature medical pods, medical bays, just as you may have seen in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus.” These medical pods would be completely automated and would be able to carry out detailed medical analysis, emergency surgery, and even provide immediate treatment for any health condition. This should enable you to seek the medical treatment you need, right from the comforts of your own home and your doctor/ physician, you can remotely monitor the progress.
We all know the smart classrooms have been installed in most of the schools. Similar concepts are being introduced in homes with the latest advancements in technologies. The smart classrooms are now popular across the world today.
Professors Teaching Online
A small smart board in the home will guide and consult the students’ 24 x 7 with the schools and faculties across the globe without much efforts and pains. The Gurus shall be available online.
03. Home Maintenance
Home maintenance is one the major concern as far as homes are concerned. Thanks to technology for making this task easy for us. The fact that there are bacteria that produce limestone is a reality even today; and this may well be incorporated into your future homes, with cracks being repaired with new lime as the bacterial gets activated on exposure to wetness and dampness. This should enable your homes to fix all the small cracks, and look almost like a new one.
04. Safety and Security
Safety and Security of Home
Safety and security will be perhaps the biggest achievement as far as smart homes are concerned. Even the hackers shall not be able to hack codes and passwords of the smart equipment, technology or appliances. Home safety and security system comprises of anything from identification mechanisms, voice recognition to face recognition. Also, a surveillance mechanism includes CCTV as a part of Home security system for monitoring a Smart Home. Additionally, the smart home comprises of electro mechanical door locks, electric windows and door shutters.
Imagine what and how a smart phone shall function and look like after affixed few years! Perhaps, we shall not be carrying the mobile equipment as we do it today! Probably we shall have a chip attached to our body operated by our biological and physiological energy and we shall be able to connect with our friends and relatives through oral/verbal commands only.
05. Solar Panels
This is going to be the most amazing part of the smart home. You can expect almost every home to feature more efficient solar panels and that all your future homes would depend more on renewable energies like the one. This should enable you to limit your dependence on traditional power sources and in the process, help define your carbon footprint as well.
A new revolution has already begun. The IoT is changing and transforming everything from business to life. Imaginations are boundless and so is technology. Everything is becoming more digitized and more connected, establishing networks between machines, humans, and the Internet, leading to the creation of new ecosystems that enable higher productivity and better energy efficiency. ‘You name it and you have it’ is how you can imagine with the future homes in the next 25 / 50 years or so. Sounds quite exciting, isn’t that? And this is good enough reason why you may want to explore the notion of smart homes today itself rather than wait for 100 more years. Please do review Samsung’s detailed report to know what the near future holds – well, it may surprise and excite you! Smart homes are the future – and that’s the reality of it.
Sai Charan Gundreddi – Sai Charan Gundreddi is an author and a freelance content writing specialist with over 3 years of experience in the field. A writer by day and a reader by night, he is loathe to discuss Hinderer in the third person, but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.