Switchboards the size of grand pianos, super villainesque home controlling cockpits, beds housing multiple televisions, and countless other outlandish predictions have been made for the home of 21st century.
Similar to today, the post World War II era saw drastic technological advancements. As inventions made their way into the private sector, imaginations began running wild with what the future may hold, especially when applied to the home.
Though the reality is far from what was once predicted, the era of the smart home may be upon us, and we owe a tip of the hat to the people that first envisioned these ideas.
Walter Cronkite’s piece on the home of the future, a 1967 prediction for a state of the art home in 2001.
In this 1967 video Cronkite explains that, “Today’s air conditioning for instance is only the beginning, the home of the 21st century might have a completely controlled environment for example those wall panels can change themselves to darken a room or let in more light. They’re controlled by this switchboard.”
Up until the mention of the switchboard Cronkite was spot on. It would have been difficult to predict the rise of the smartphone as, in this instance, the world’s switchboard. However, glazing that can adjust to let in more or less light, as well as controlling other features of home automation from a single access point is very much a reality.
For the sleeping comfort of the future, the Sleep Center 2000 was as prolific a prediction as any. The bed was supposed to make it to the market by the mid 90’s, according to the British manufacturer Slumberland, but it never made it past the drawing board.
Electric razors, coffee makers, news feeds with integrated printers ready to spit out info for reading on the go, and other largely unnecessary bedside amenities never made it beyond a concept. Nonetheless, aside from the razor, today few of these gadgets are out of arm’s reach while you snooze.
A phone accessible from bed is simply a cell phone, which conveniently also keeps you up to date on happenings around the world. The array of TV sets imagined for the Sleep Center 2000 are found in the form of tablets, computers, phones, and don’t forget the screen still likely on the wall in your bedroom.
The smart home will undeniably begin to affect, and improve our lives in the near future. Thanks to those daring enough to attempt predicting what’s to come, we’ve gathered a better idea about what may, or may not work, as well as a bit of comic relief to go along with it.
A few other noteworthy and comedic predictions we just couldn’t keep to ourselves.
Check back in soon for the second part of our smart home breakdown that will look into cutting edge technologies that are driving the smart home industry today.