I love sci-fi movies. LOVE them. I blame the tech bug in me. There is something about watching a futuristic movie and seeing all of the fancy gadgets that they use that excites me. However, it’s funny to watch all those 80s sci-fi films that thought we’d all be driving around in hover cars and colonizing Mars by now. Sometimes I think they got it all wrong. But other times I look around and realize that they weren’t far off. While daily space travel and hover cars are not here just yet, other things are readily available. I feel lucky to live at a time where I get to see a lot of this unfold.
In the coming months, as I complete the build on my home and start to deck it out with the latest and greatest smart home products, I will be sharing that with you. Meanwhile, here are some futuristic things that you may or may not know you can get for your home right now.
Home automation or smart home technology is the ability to control lighting, heating, air-conditioning and kitchen appliances via Wi-fi remote control. Those wanting to turn the oven or kettle on before they get home can now do so with their mobile phone. Don’t want to get out of bed to turn the heating on or off in the night? Just use your phone. As technology advances and more companies jump in the ring, the market is becoming flooded with these products. More on the smart home and home automation from me later. Meanwhile, for information on a range of the products available visit The Smart Future.
I’ve started seeing mirrored TVs being used on home design shows, and they are very, very cool. While TVs have been constantly getting slimmer over the years, Panasonic’s most recent model takes the cake. When turned off, it appears to be nothing but a glass pane. When on, it’s a fully working TV straight out of a spaceship. Although there are working models, this one’s still in development – so you may have to wait a couple of years before you can get your hands on one.
I’m usually cold. And when it’s time to go to bed I have the sheet and comforter up to my neck. For the cold nights where the only solution is wrapping up like a sushi roll, this new heated bed is the answer. It’s energy-efficient – they claim you won’t even notice the effect on your gas bill. And it can be operated by a simple button on the side of the bed. To top it off, there’s an LED screen that allows you to fine-tune the temperature, as well as displaying other features such as the date and time. I totally want one of these! However, my husband would never go for it. While I’m wrapped up in covers to my neck, he never has a blanket on! We would have to sleep in separate rooms.
Remember the Jetsons? I’m pretty sure that they had something similar to this. The newest space-saving feature for your home, the single stack kitchen takes the form of a swiss-army-knife like tower containing all your essential kitchen appliances. There are fold-out hobs, a fridge, a microwave and working surface. It also comes with a stall that doubles up as an extra storage unit. You can use the fold-out work surface as a table. This is perfect for sticking a kitchen wherever you need it.
Not everyone has the luxury of a garden. Those living in apartments, or those that have city lots with tiny yards just don’t have the space. The hydroponic nano garden is the latest South Korean invention to tackle this problem, consisting of multiple compartments and using vertical space much like the single-stack kitchen. The garden uses hydroponics, a natural and eco-friendly system that dispels the need to buy fertilizer or pesticide. Light, water and nutrient supply can all be controlled. It also has the dual property of being an air-purifier – getting rid of any bad smells around the home. The future of organic living?
I’m not a huge fan of VR technology. I have problems with getting a bit woozy when I use it. But, it is fast becoming the future of gaming technology. More immersive and interactive than a console, the players wear a headset that throws them into a digital world – the premises of many sci-fi films now brought to life. By moving one’s head, one can look around the world and by moving one’s arms you can interact with the digital world as if you were really in there. There are a growing number of virtual reality headsets available on the market including the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and Google Cardboard. Gamers will no longer be sitting in their chairs twiddling thumbsticks, but instead walking and jumping around the living room.
Home 3D printer
3D printers allow you to print 3D forms of your own design from various materials. Until recently, 3D printers were machines only available to industrial companies. However, a number of cheaper home models are now available. I say ‘cheaper’, but you are still looking at spending a pretty penny on some models. But, prices are coming down. They are now affordable for households. That’s exciting stuff. It won’t be long before there will be 3D printers are in most households.
Solar Powered Sockets
Environmental technology is no longer a hare-brained idea for hippies. People everywhere are converting to sustainable energy in order to save the planet (and save a few bucks). Cars are going electric, as are motorcycles. Gradually, we’re all starting to incorporate it into our homes. Solar power is the latest DIY energy fad. A solar power kit, complete with a panel (a small one, mind you) and a generator with sockets, is now very affordable. Of course the bigger the solar panels, the more expensive. And with larger panels, the more electricity you can generate. Some have gone so far as to replace all the plug sockets in their house with solar power plug sockets. Of course, you need to live in a location that receives regular sunlight – otherwise, you’re not going to generate much power. Once purchased, you can pretty much say goodbye to energy bills, relying on a clear sky to keep your house buzzing. Other than those of us who use an electric meter, many are still oblivious as to how much electricity we use, because the power stations offer us an infinite source. Knowing that you are creating your own energy might cause you to be a little more frugal. It could be a good thing for us all!
What futuristic product are you hoping to have in your home?