As they say, the future is here. For those of us who grew up watching The Jetsons, it may come as relief (or fright) to know that we’re not as far as we may think from self-aware home machines. Research suggests that in less than ten years from now, we will be operating appliances at home that can communicate with us in an intelligent manner. You will be able to ask your refrigerator, for instance, what you should have for dinner. You can ask your washing machine to begin a cleaning cycle, and your robotic vacuum cleaner to do another round of the house.
Computers will become more ubiquitous and less visible. So the desktop computer and the home phone will be a thing of the past – or the present, if you will. All entertainment devices will compute, and all computing devices will entertain. We may even cease to classify devices as ‘entertaining’ or ‘computing’, because all devices will do both.
3D printing will probably revolutionize home life. With rubber and metal-like substances becoming an option in 3D printing, manufacturing in companies will take a backseat to providing customers with the required templates for their design. For instance, if you lose a metal hinge or if you wish to have an extra coaster for your dining table, just print them. All our homes in the future, therefore, will become little manufacturing hubs.
Home and office space will blend into one. The current trend of working from home and telecommuting will become the norm across a wide range of sectors, and therefore homes will be designed to be efficient work-friendly units as well.
The other big revolution is likely to be in sleep technology. Beds are likely to be designed with the sleeper’s preference in view: how soft and warm we like our mattress, how dimmed we like our lights, how much humidity we need in the air etc. Beds that can float in mid-air to give you the sensation of sleeping on a cloud are also not far-fetched, and are available already.
So yes, the future is coming, whether you’re prepared for it or not. Buck up, and hold on tight.