Futuristic homes of gen-next

Futuristic homes of gen-next

Futuristic homes of gen-next

When technology has made its foray into every arena, why should our homes be left behind?
Natasha Menezes takes us through some hi-tech ideas.

Remember the gadgets Jetson family from Cartoon Network used? Did you know that Microsoft founder Bill Gates has a pool with an underwater sound system and that Tony Stark of Iron Man fame has 3D holographic computer displays at his hi-tech home?

From wireless doors and locks to robot-controlled cleaning devices, imagine your domicile connecting digitally by the swoosh of a button.

Gadgets are slowly becoming an integral part of our everyday life and more people are getting addicted to it. Our dependence on technology is far exceeding the levels of our usage with mobile phones and it is interesting to note the advances that are being made by young turks with innovative mindsets.

Need for technology

Innovation typically stems out of the need to solve a problem with an existing product or the lack of a product to solve an existing problem. These days, technology is also being beautifully packaged with strong design aesthetics.

“Six years ago, people wanted to keep technology at a minimum, nowadays, they want to whip out their Iphones and turn on their jacuzzi from the comfort of their cars,” quips Parul Amla, an interior designer.

But not everyone can afford the expense that comes along with a technology-savvy home. Also, not everyone prefers the high levels of ostentation. But there are multiple options for every luxury seeker.
Internet plays one of the most important parts in this digital living. Traditional home appliances are being remodelled to be connected and controlled with internet protocols.

Thermostats, light bulbs and music speakers can be remotely operated by the touch of a button on your smartphone. For instance, Samsung has recently launched a smart refrigerator that operates over Wifi networks.

There are also a dozen ways to convert your traditional home into a hi-tech one. Service providers like AT&T and Verizon are not too far in this technological race. They are launching smart home packages that provide mobile applications to control your home security, room temperature and lighting. Samsung is pioneering a highly engineered Smart Home service that has connected ecosystems.

But you don’t need to pay huge monthly subscription fees for your AT&T equipment just yet. Start with the basics. Find out which old appliances in your home can be replaced with smart ones that produce data, send alerts, allow remote control access and generally make your everyday life much simpler. Integrate your home with your fancy technology gadgets and convert it into a futuristic abode.

Here are some hi-tech ideas for your home:

The transparent TV

Designed by Micheal Friebe, the transparent TV combines the conventional LCD and the latest TOLED display technology which allows moving pictures the quality colour reproduction and full contrast range not available in traditional television sets.

Revamp your existing gadgets

Convert your old gadgets into hi-tech ones. After all, most old television sets don’t stream Netflix or have pre-installed video games. So, go ahead and create a play-anything media centre from your old computer, make your TV a retro game station with XBMC, pre-programme your TV to hide adult scenes, make your landline phone call via internet with Obi adapter or upgrade your wall sockets to connect to USB devices.

Build tech-friendly furniture

If your side table doesn’t charge your devices or your coffee table doesn’t play video games, you are due for some serious overhaul. Make your nightstand a charging station, build a retro arcade gaming console out of your coffee table, or mount and connect your kitchen appliances to your tablet hung over a kitchen door.

Automate your home

There is beauty in the power of home automation like controlling your home security with voice controls, automatically tuning blinds to open and shut themselves depending on the time of the day, or feeding your pets with a technology-controlled dish.

Control all the equipments in your house via Belkin WeMo over a smartphone, use Siri or Android voice commands to automate everything, wave your hand to turn on the lamp switch and get alerts when the laundry dryer has finished its job.

Secure your home

Make your home a high-tech fortress with iris-recognition scanners, bullet-proof walls, panic rooms with 18 inch steel walls, remote control surveillance systems or keyless locks. Keyless locks and electric alarms can be highly personalised, allowing each member of the home to use a special code to enter or exit the premises.

You can also assign a one-time code for a regular visitor like your maid whose access will be time-bound and restricted. As you enter into the driveway, you can unlock all doors from the fob in your keychain or lock down the entire house from a button near your bed.

You can also link surveillance cameras to your home network devices that will allow you to watch live feed through your tablet, desktop or laptop while you are away from home.

Use robots

You don’t need to house security guards to guard your house anymore. Just get a Rotundus Groundbot. This looks like a weather-proof ball that rolls around your property recording instant videos. It costs about $1,20,000 and houses two day to night security cameras, gyroscopes, sensors and wide angle lenses giving a 360 degree view of your property. It also sends alerts when there is a gas leakage, radioactive substance or bio-hazard spill.

In the coming years, smart home appliances and other electronic devices will become much more intuitive and affordable to the common man. Things that looked like a far-fetched dream many years ago like owning a Transparent TV or tapping your smart phone to play music over speakers connected elsewhere in your home, playing movies and watching videos in your coffee table will all become a reality as soon as technological advances are made, the demand and supply gap becomes less and overall prices slash.

As visible by our growing enthusiasm for smart phones, activity trackers and wearable technology, we like having everything under our control so that we can make better predictions for the future. 
Humans are a race that will constantly evolve and so our lives will become easier in the coming years with all the gadgets being produced and used.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox