One of the fundamental problems behind making predictions is that the prediction is made through a lens of what is popular or technologically innovative for the time, as seen in the 1950s predictions for a smart home by Walter Cronkite.
With the smart home era upon us, and ridiculous predictions for the home of the 21st century behind us, what is the future of home automation and an internet of things that connects our life to our appliances and entire home?
With a booming industry forming, every major manufacturer with the slightest idea of what may evolve is throwing their hat into the ring, providing a prediction and a system to govern how our home life can be improved through the advancements made in this era of connectivity. Through the 3rd part of our smart home series, we’ll be looking into what home innovations we’ll likely see, and even own in our lifetime.
Samsung is envisioning a home of the future largely covered in screens that are connected to your other devices, schedules, habits and of course the internet to provide you with information and a level of connectivity yet seen. From hologram-esque images of relatives eating with you at the dinner table to browsing recipes from your oven, Samsung applies the idea of the touch screen and the success it brought to the smart phone and computer sector to your home.
“Remember how quickly, in just a few years, smartphones and tablets have changed our lives? I’m certain the home of the future will be woven into the fabric of our lives just as fast,” said Samsung Electronics’ CEO Boo-Keun Yoon speaking at IFA, a German Consumer Electronics Conference, in 2014.
Some examples the of many the predictions made by Samsung at IFA explain how the home of the future will be able to:
- Figure out when you wake up and start the coffee
- Prompt you to take your medicine
- Turn off the lights when you nod off
- Suggest recipes that use ingredients before they go bad
- Give your daughter across the country a virtual seat at the dinner table
Tech giant Apple also has their own systems, and predictions for your future home. The Home Kit by Apple is a framework in iOS 8 for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home. This makes it easier for developers to create applications that can manipulate smart appliances and electronics within iOS.
In addition, the Apple TV may do a lot more than stream movies and television. Though the Cupertino based company does all they can to keep future products under wraps, recent patents and predictions by industry leaders point to the Apple TV being used as a home control and automation hub. With the TV already at the center of most homes, and an Apple TV going for roughly $100, the rumors seem quite plausible with pricing on par with devices from other companies.
Google is also looking to be a contender in the increasingly competitive smart home industry through their acquisition of Nest in February 2014. Future endeavors will likely put the strength of Google behind Nest’s already popular products. The recent redesign to their interface and absorbing yet another company, Revolv for it’s increasingly popular smart home hub speak to the company’s ambitions in the industry. With a host of supported appliances and electronics, the Nest system is poised to be one of the first to have a big impact on the smart home sector.
Consumers have been slow to embrace early smart home products, but as the systems evolve and inherent advantages become undeniable a thriving industry and the innovation that comes with it will likely come on rapidly.
Though our future is sure to surprise us, leaving these predictions seemingly bizarre in 20 or so years, the ideas can be used as building blocks providing inspiration for future technological development.