When we sit down and watch those ageing sci-fi films, it can feel weird when we see what directors and writers thought the home of the 2010’s would look like. In some aspects, technology jumped ahead – in others, the film showed a more advanced world. This article from The Huffington Post shows what people in the fifties though the home of the future would look like – there’s a lot of dinner gadgets popping up around the place, in fact – most of the ideas focused on food and dinner preparation. Almost all of these ideas were realised with the microwave, the trash compactor, garbage disposal, filtered faucets and more.
Films like Soylent Green and Robocop might have been close with some of their guesses, but for the home? Technology jumped further than one could ever imagine. Some predictions came true – like Soylent Green’s door scanners (CCTV and Smart Locks), but as the green chips that are made from people? Not just yet – thankfully. However, there is a food called Soylent in tribute to the ‘superfood’ of the film – but that’s a bit of a marketing mistake.
The truth is this – the home of tomorrow is available to those today. You just need the right mindset for it, a bit of cash and the inclination. Automation and simplicity can be found in the home.Technology is amazing, especially when we think about the difference it has made to our lives. That difference can be found in the home, and it can be found today.
If you’re able with computers and a dab hand at coding, a few android tablets picked up cheaply can automate a lot in your home. However, if you’re a parent, or just plain busy – you might not have the time to tinker with tablets and computers. It matters not, because there are plenty of solutions available for you to buy right now so that your home can jump into the future.
The biggest leap in home automation can be seen in a number of marketed goods that have become hugely popular in the past twelve months. Echo, Home and Nest have brought the internet, connectivity and automation into many homes worldwide.
Focusing on the Echo, Amazon’s own home hub – we can see the future already. While to many, the Echo might simply be a bluetooth speaker with voice recognition that booms your tunes around the house when you ask it to, there are those who are finding a lot of use from the simple speaker. Apps are being produced for Echo and it’s virtual assistant Alexa in the same manner as apps on your smartphone. With simple apps like Spotify allowing you to play and stream music in the home to apps like Uber that allow you to order a cab with your voice, there is no end to what can be achieved with an Echo device in the home. There is even a number of takeaway delivery apps that can allow you order a meal by speaking out loud. Of course, it’s Amazon, so you can already order your goods and products with an Echo. The Echo can build shopping lists from memory, it can function as an alarm that detects the Sun, it can tell you changes in the weather and answer any question you may have from ‘what is on at the cinema?’ to ‘Who played centre field for the Cubs in the 1947 season’. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home hubs like the Echo though. When we combine them with smart gadgets in the home, automation can be fully realised.
Smartzone is a smart thermometer that can control the temperature of your house by connecting to both your central heating systems and your air conditioning. The device is controlled both physically via a dial that can be moved, and via a smartphone app. This means that the heating and cooling of your home can be controlled remotely. If you want to heat up your home an hour before you arrive, you can. It has never been easier. You can also ensure the HVAC zone systems are not running when the house is occupied. This can be completely controlled by your phone, or linked to a home hub like Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home to ensure complete connectivity in the home. Automated thermostats can be a great way to save money as you can regulate your expenditure on energy and control your energy bills. Home automation isn’t just about heating and cooling via linked thermostats though. There are plenty of other gadgets that can connect to a home hub or be operated remotely. Lutron and Philips Hue are wireless light bulbs that can be controlled independently of a switch, meaning that they can be operated via voice, or with an app. Haiku home also producer a number of fans that can be controlled in the same manner.
As well as the functions of the home – we can also think about entertainment. Both the Xbox One and PS4 consoles can play films, music and games through voice operation, although they can’t link up to home hubs, they are still a lot more modern than their predecessors. Of course, Echo is an amazing speaker, but fitting your home with a number of bluetooth speakers that can blast your vinyl out can make sure you use your existing music collection. Bluetooth speakers can unlock the party!
With all these gadgets and automation devices on display, we better pay mind to the security of the home. While this isn’t something we can automate, we can certainly modernise home security to ensure that our modern home is safe and the family living in it are secure. How can tech help here then? How can we make the home of tomorrow safer?
Well, first – we start with old school methods brought up to date. An alarm is going to be the best purchase for your home and even though it is old school, it’s still automated. With laser detection, trip lines, sonics and other detection devices, alarms can be programmed remotely and physically to ensure your home is protected when you aren’t in. The mere existence of an alarm is also a huge deterrent to would be home invaders as well, and will make them second guess their decision to approach your home. Alarm systems link directly to the authorities and law enforcement services, which means your house is safe even when you are not in it.
It isn’t just alarms though, and it shouldn’t just be an alarm you buy to secure your modern home. Alarms seem pretty boring though, don’t they? If you want to step up your home security game, modernise the home further and improve the function of the home all at once, look no further than your door. Yes, your door. The door is one area of the home that can be modified in an amazing way and that is through the aid of a smart lock. A smart lock can either replace or co-exist with a regular lock to lock your door down. Some will even work with home hubs – meaning you can unlock the door with your voice (and only your voice). Smart locks can let you know via an app if your door is unlocked. This means you never have to worry about leaving your door unlocked when you leave the house ever again. You actually never need to worry about anyone leaving the door open ever again as smart locks can lock the home door via the same app that tells you if the door is unlocked. This works both ways, and you can open your door for guests and friends even when you aren’t in. How can you tell when someone is at your door? Through the doorbell cameras that come with many smart locks that can allow you to view who is on your doorstep at any time. Smart locks also come alarmed, meaning that if someone should try to pick the lock, they will be met with a blazing alarm.
Door bell cameras can also come separately and if you don’t fancy a smart lock, you might want to opt for a camera. These tiny cameras record on a daily basis and can save the day in the event of a break-in. You might even be able to spot criminals who are checking to see if anyone is in before deciding to make a move. CCTV is an expansion on this, but it has tempted criminals to break in, as CCTV usually highlights a valuable property and it can be bypassed easily.
The best gadget for the home? We’ve mentioned it plenty already. It is the one thing that links all these products. It is the smartphone in your pocket. Without that, the home of the future can’t be achieved!
The home of the future? You can find it today with your smartphone, home hubs and smart devices! You can also find all the gadgets you’d need to protect it and it has never been easier.