From Artificial Intelligence (AI) to robotics and smart connectivity, these are the kind of technology we want to have in our homes.
Televisions that can surf the Internet; lighting that can be adjusted via your mobile phone; wireless vacuum cleaners that detect dirt, manoeuvre around obstacles, and stop itself from falling down the stairs – indeed, we are living in one of the most intelligent times in history, where even our homes and appliances are nothing less than smart. As technology keeps advancing and its applications expand to more uses, we expect our homes to become even more intuitive to our needs. This is what we’d like to experience within the next 10 years.
1. Reflect your health
Mirrors can be fitted with facial recognition technology and analytic technology to do more than show you how you look on the outside but can also scan and assess your health. They will then send you feedback and point out tell-tale signs of potential health issues, besides giving recommendations on what products to use or supplements to take.
2. Air and more
Purifiers that are designed to go beyond filtering the air around it but also have the ability to monitor levels of certain particles and adjust settings to maintain clean air. At the same time, they will alert you as needed. Say you’re prone to hay fever; set the purifier to keep an eye on pollen and sound the alarm if it reaches a certain level.
3. Connected and automated
Robotics and AI are already being used to perform a wide range of manual tasks, especially in heavy industries and medical fields. In the house, they can be utilised to lighten the load by taking over laborious household chores (who wouldn’t love a robot that does the laundry!), beefing up safety and security, automating amenities and appliances, or assist those with limited abilities or special needs.
4. Talk to the brush
You dutifully brush your teeth twice a day and visit the dentist twice a year. Is that sufficient or would you like to be able to keep closer tabs on your dental health? You can if your toothbrush is enabled to collect data on your dental habits, identify potential issues, tell you when you need to change your toothbrush, remind you to floss…the list is endless and we would be comforted by the idea of having a dedicated, personal dentist at hand.
5. Ask and we shall receive
Speaking to your appliances used to sound like a crazy idea until the likes of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant came about. Once you’ve gotten used to these voice assistants, it’s hard to imagine life without. Well, we’d like to imagine life with even more of them, using voice commands to simplify everyday life such as turn devices on or off, and lock or unlock doors – particularly helpful when you’re carrying loads of groceries!
6. Bowled over
Urine or stool samples are routinely used to diagnose health conditions; toilets of the future can be equipped with the technology to do that each time you use them. The contents will be analysed to give a picture of how the body is functioning and send early warnings on issues like urinary tract infections and gut imbalances.
7. Chill and stay healthy
Refrigerators are no longer just vessels for containing food and keeping them fresh. Already there are various smart, Internet-enabled models that can keep track of their contents and expiry dates, and let you draft grocery lists and menus, among a host of features. That technology can be developed further to sync with your health or fitness devices, to count calories, screen out foods that can trigger allergies, or suggest meal preps that match weight goals.
8. In the mood for
How much time we spend watching TV or listening to music correlates with our emotional well-being. Why not keep track of them like how we do the number of steps we walk or the amount of sleep we get each night? The technology can be refined to suggest video contents and music that matches or lifts our emotions, and even linked to home lighting settings to set the appropriate moods.
9. Safe and sound
We’ve certainly come a long way from the humble lock-and-key combo. Today’s home security systems are laden with state-of-the-art features and it can only get better. The next generation should be about building even more comprehensive coverage and connectivity. For example, when one system is triggered, it will alert other systems in the neighbourhood. Or embed face recognition abilities that then link to the local criminal database for instant identification. The definition of home security itself also needs to evolve to encompass more aspects of the property. That means systems that raise alarms not only over break-ins or human disturbances, but also things like leaks, disrepair, or if lights are left on during the day.
10. Shape-shifting furniture
Choosing furniture is never an easy task, not only because of the myriad choices out there but also because you have to anticipate its usage. In the future, the tables get turned as your furniture will instead, read into your needs and adapt themselves. The modular designs will be equipped with sensors that anticipate what you want. Sit on it and it turns into a sofa, lie on it and it transforms into a bed. That’s not all; place a device on it and it will recharge the battery. These may be wishful thinking for now but we have seen technology grow by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years, and some of these technologies have begun taking shape. In that respect, the future is already here.
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