What might your future home look like?
People are continually looking to stay up to date with the latest technological trends. Here we look at the next design trends in the home...
As an economist I am constantly being asked for my predictions: How high will house prices rise this year? When will interest rates move? Where is the next hotspot? It is this fascination with the future that has kept fortune tellers the world over in crystal balls and tarot cards. And now, with the help from our friends at the Future Laboratory, as well as future house prices, we can also predict what your future house might look like. And yes, it does include robots!
Here are some of my predictions: Most of the innovations we are hearing about help to militate against the lack of urban space. Kitchens are said to sell a property, but it can be tricky to put all your appliances in a confined space. A solution has come from the Massimo Facchinetti “Ecooking Vertical Kitchen”, which offers a compact and sustainable cooking experience. It consists of a column-like structure that contains a fridge, dishwasher, induction hob, oven, sink, setting for six people, espresso machine and a small wall garden for herbs. Plus the entire thing is solar panelled, the water is filtered and recycled from the sink to the dishwasher (and used to water the herbs), and the hood purifies the air.
The inventor of Yo Sushi and Yotel has now taken his space saving design skills to the next level, with Yo! Home. Drawing from his background in stage design, Yo! Home is as high tech as apartment living gets: things move, levitate and adjust depending on which version of your space you want at any given time. You want a bedroom? Sure. A cinema? No problem.
But what future prediction would be truly complete without a robot or two? Meet JIBO, a sci-fi cliché actualised. Standing at a foot tall with a touchscreen face, JIBO can take pictures, relay messages, read emails, tell stories and even understand your emotions. Sort of like a pet that you don’t have to remember to walk or feed.
Or for those who are more concerned with hygiene than interaction, there is now a new robotic vacuum cleaner from Dyson that has 360 degree vision and intelligent navigation (a feature missing on previous models). It moves in a square spiral ensuring that it never ‘misses a spot’ and will retail for under half what earlier versions asked.
But if you want to protect against the chilly winter months there is the mobile radiator called Kangeri Nomadic that warms only a small area as needed (so saving on power). Or for larger spaces there is Google’s new Nest thermostat, which actually learns homeowners’ habits so it can adjust heat settings appropriately automatically.
Not enough? Then what about installing a sauna in your home? If you think you don’t have the space, think again: the Inipi micro-sauna is so small that it fits easily into a domestic space, with the heating stones and equipment concealed behind an internal board. It even has a remote controlled LED glass panel displaying digital scenery for every mood, including the jungle and the desert.
And when you get out of the sauna and are too hot and bothered to face ironing or doing the washing, there is the Swash, an in-home garment care machine somewhere between a laundry and a dry cleaning system. Running on pods much like those used in a Nespresso machine (yes, really), it makes tangling yourself in an ironing chord a thing of the past.
So with all of these gadgets to look forward to, one has to ask the question: what on earth will they think of next? Flying cars?