A Symbiotic Vision of the Smart Home of the Future

A Symbiotic Vision of the Smart Home of the Future

Gregory Han
Mar 14, 2011

If there's anything ever-popular amongst the tech minded, it's the subject of "what's next?", the wonderful guessing game of what device X will offer over last year's model. But what's arguably more interesting is the bigger picture, the convergence of smart technologies embedded into mobile devices, built into the home and networked across for room-to-room access, predicting and serving our needs and whims perhaps even before we even consider it.

Fox News gathered this overview of the idea of a "Digital Home", spotlighting both future technologies on the visible horizon like the Corning concept above, to currently available devices, such as the Logitech Alert we reviewed shortly ago.

But if you really want to see tomorrow's home, now, you'd be best served to revisit Anthony's post about homes built using the same model as upgradable applications. The idea of home automation as an invisible extension of our digital lives is still a fairly expensive endeavor when discussing Control4 type of automated and centralized control, a reality we discovered quite quickly after our recent stay at a swank Control4-enabled hotel room, but these Proto Homes illustrate the technologies are trickling down to preconstructed tract homes in suburban areas.

"Bruce McMillin, a computer engineering professor at Missouri University of Science and Technology describes a future home that will sense your needs. Say you're cold and reach for a sweater; the home might automatically raise the heat, based partly on your customized energy profile. And your house could maintain different temperatures for family members in a different room, ultimately leading to better energy management. "The house will have a symbiotic relationship with you."

Whether this sounds comforting or horrific depends upon your personal perspective of how much you want tech integrated into your life. Predictive technologies tend to be a hit or miss proposition right now, but as noted this past CES, as robotic appliances progress, their helpful features will seem second nature and as necessary as the smart phones and computers we all already rely upon.

These might look rudimentary for "robots", but these air purifiers can sense polluted indoor air and move to the room where they're most needed!

Have you integrated any automation into your own space? If not, why? Cost? Difficulty rating of installation? Or something else?

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