It’s easy to forget that the places we live in are a direct reflection of our current technology. We’ve all come a long way since we lived in cave 76 (That was for all the Mel Brookes fans), and we generally are living in houses built on top of the shoulders of giants. Great entrepreneurial, scientific and engineering minds which make the modern world very comfortable indeed. We are currently on the cusp of a quite a few physical changes appearing in our homes. Before we explore what they might be, let’s think about how long some of the current technologies in our homes have been around:
- Letter Boxes – mail services started encouraging these to be installed in houses for deliveries in the mid 1800’s
- Indoor Plumbing – In the 1860’s only 5% of American houses had running water, flush toilets were very uncommon until the mid 1900’s
- Driveways – much less than 80 years old as a standard inclusion
- Electricity – uncommon in suburban homes until the 1930’s
- White goods – (electricity needed) were rare in modern economies until post WW2
- Televisions – 1956 in Australia
- VCR’s – the early 1980s
- Home Computers – the mid 1980s
- Internet – the mid 1990’s
There’s many more examples, but you get the picture – where we live changes based on the technological possibilities, and their facilitation requirements of the day. So let’s run a thought experiment on what will begin appearing in homes, based on the technologies about to arrive, and those already here and functioning.
Drone delivery landing pads: With deliveries already happening they need to land somewhere. Apartment buildings are already being designed with them on rooftops, and your house will be no different. Maybe it will have an auto opening lid which closes over after the drop off has been made?
Smart Toilet: I’ve written about this before – but we can expect it to be our health partner in life, and since Alaphabet had a patent approved on the smart bathroom last year, this is one of those realities which will surprise with its speed of arrival.
Smart shower: One that takes a photo of you everyday… not to invade your privacy, but to ensure it knows you have a dangerous sun spot long before you do.
All glass becomes web enabled screens: If you’ve always wanted a house with a view, well it’s about to come a lot cheaper than anyone expects. All the glass in our homes will become web enabled screens. The resolution of our windows will be indistinguishable from an actual view into the real world. All of a sudden anyone can have a real time, harbour view, which changes perspective on different windows in the house to give perfect perception in real time. Maybe those rich people with actual harbour mansions will make money selling their views via a live feed cam?
Charging stations in all driveways: Our driving future is all electric as is our entire economy. Expect every place cars stop will have a charging facility on hand. If they ever stop – I’ll probably send mine out to work for me when I’m not using it.
Virtual Reality Room: It will be a bit like the home office was, or maybe part of it. We’ll conduct meetings with work that feel so real, we’ll wonder why going to the office is even necessary. We’ll also use our VR rig to shop online for things we want to touch and experience. Our haptic gloves and suits will assist in the purchase process. We’ll also use it to choose hotel rooms, holidays, and even do exercise. In the latter case we’ll have a treadmill which keeps us stationary while we seemingly move around and explore other worlds
Of course the list of ‘new fixtures’ in the home will be longer as many forms of technology will change our habitat. And quite frankly that is the key – not that the technology makes it possible, but that entrepreneurs and emerging startups shine a path on what is possible and make us want it. This is where tomorrows economy will be made up from. Just like Bill Gates promised to put a computer on every desk in every home, and Jobs put one in your pocket, you can put something in our house as well – and you need not invent the thing in question. Exciting times ahead.
Here’s a little radio interview I did on this topic yesterday.
New Book – The Lessons School Forgot.