The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry once again re-opens its Smart Home with an annual update, this year concentrating on, "ease of day-to-day living, great spaces for entertaining, a master bedroom that serves as a retreat, a whimsical nursery/playroom for visiting grandchildren and a functional home office".
Smart Home: Green + Wired involves a three-story modular home designed by Michelle Kaufmann Design. The interior changes yearly with updated furniture and eco-friendly technologies. This year, the 2,500-square-foot home was revamped by Midwest Living, while Wired was called in again to upgrade the tech. Their changes include:
- A home automation system, which allows homeowners to operates the home's temperature, lighting and entertainment features from touch screen panels.
- An energy monitoring system that tracks, in real time, the amount of juice created by the home's solar film and 45-foot wind turbine, and allows residents to track their energy consumption. "An Internet energy pricing feed from ComEd advises the homeowner about electricity shortages during peak times of day and saving money."
- A kitchen countertop that charges your mobile devices wirelessly.
- An air purifier that cleans air using minimum of wattage.
- A digital photo frame that turns off when it doesn't sense any motion (though it can't sense the lack of emotion).
- A garage with a biodiesel unit that converts ordinary cooking oil into useable car fuel.
The home welcomes guests starting March 4th and continues to January 9th.