Say hello to the future...

Say hello to the future...

Say hello to the future...

Be it a washing machine that alerts you of the next wash cycle or a refrigerator that reminds you to buy milk, modern technology promises to make your life smarter and simpler. Niladri Datta checks out what’s in store

Though not as ubiquitous as science fiction writers imagined them to be, smart homes have already become a reality and promise to make our future cities only smarter. The natural progression of technology will likely see more functions in our homes taken care of by smart appliances, but it takes more than just increased automation to make a home truly smart.

Homes of the future will centralise control of lighting, heating, security and appliances. Some experts are predicting that all average homes will be organised and automated by 2020. The gadgets in our homes are becoming more connected to one another, and are taking home interconnectivity beyond computers, tablets and TVs.

Tomorrow’s appliances will have features such as doors that automatically open when you approach, easy-to-understand control panels in accessible areas, and panels that become translucent upon touch. The future appliances will be even more efficient and quieter.

Connected virtually

Key to this futuristic style of life is the ‘super internet’, and with networking of appliances in the home and even on the streets. We term it as convergence — a single gadget doing multiple tasks at the click of a button. Manufacturers have been able to coin technology to enable almost everything virtually linked over wireless systems. Today, consumers can operate their washing machines, music systems and refrigerators via their smartphones. Imagine your house coming alive with your favourite music as soon as you unlock your front door. We already use our TVs to Skype, chat, mail, or play and this
will only add more capabilities as we go forward.

With consumers spending more time gazing the screens of laptops, televisions and smartphones, display has come a long way and achieved brilliance as never before. OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) is one such technology that is making waves and becoming increasingly popular. It provides a rich and immersive viewing experience, setting the bar high for display manufacturers. The unique amalgamation of 4K technology with OLED has taken viewing experience to another level and will continue to do so in 2016 and onwards.

As technology evolves to include more products, a key challenge that must be met will be the implementation of an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, where user convenience will not be compromised by the home’s increased complexity. The growing number of connected devices will expand the way we think about the internet. In the near future, almost all of our devices will support some type of internet connection and internet access will come to be seen as just as important as the electric and telephone grids.

Manufacturers today have the credentials to back up their predictions. The built-in technology adds a whole new level of Wi-Fi convenience and an array of intriguing smart connectivity options. Take, for instance, washing machines where customised wash cycles can be uploaded to the washer. The wash status can be monitored via a smartphone app and alerts can be sent when the wash is complete.

The refrigerator also seems like it could set the tone of the future kitchen, with the ability to blend in anywhere. For instance, refrigerators that allow you to simply knock on the door to reveal what is inside. Putting it simply — a knock on the door and the interior lights up to reveal whatever foods you might have forgotten about. So, next time when your hands are full of groceries, just put your foot forward and the door will open on its own to facilitate you!

To your liking

As our devices and home systems adapt more to our personal preferences, it
will become increasingly easier for us to do everything, right from restocking our refrigerator, even when one is already at the grocery store with no shopping list, to lowering the power bill, saving us money and giving us more time to enjoy life.

In a kitchen bursting with such intelligent devices, your microwave might actually become your best friend. Just pop in a raw meal and stand back as its intelligent systems recognise the dish and know exactly how to turn out the perfect result. Solving the dread of every household, our microwave can now even help us with the problem of milk spillovers!

Tech knows no bounds. Who could have imagined a TV that would help you tackle the problem of mosquito menace and give you a good night’s sleep! With future-ready technology, we have taken entertainment to a level which allows to keep our homes not just connected and smart, but also safe from disease spreading insects and mosquitoes.

The future home is not only a stand-alone structure that benefits consumers in terms of connectivity and smart technology, but it also brings to the table solutions to issues like high power bills and sustainability. Therefore, the city of the future has to be smart, green and sustainable.

Indian market is shifting towards energy-efficient products today. Keeping in mind the energy norms, manufacturers are developing new technologies to meet market needs. Much like these appliances, the future home and future city will not only look good, but they will change our lives in ways we are yet to imagine.

(The author is head — corporate marketing, LG Electronics India)

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