The Home of The Future! A concept that has been pitched to every generation. The main promise of the home is that there will be robot servants taking care of your every need. From cooking and cleaning to childcare and companionship (and other things that don’t begin with C)
The difference now is that there seems to be some real progress in this area, not just at the conceptual level but there are already advanced home devices. While they are no Rosie Jetson, their future impact on home life cannot be ignored. Here is a list of the most noteworthy current and future home changes.
Tesla is driving forward solar electricity for the home. So no centralised power distribution over a century-old power grid. There are obvious and significant benefits to start building homes with solar roofs. Now Tesla has taken into consideration one key aspect for the mass market, design, uptake of this should increase. Regardless of the benefits, if an architect thinks sticking an ugly solar panel on the roof is bad for the look and feel, then they will avoid adding it if they can. Housing developers are less likely to demand panels are put in if the cost of adding them reduces the market price.
Other benefits (depending on where you live) include no more power cuts from trees blowing over 20 miles away. No unexpected energy bills and if you have an electric car, it essentially becomes free to run. Oh, and you know the environment is better or whatever.
Houses are being 3D printed and are being built by drones and other robots. This will significantly reduce the cost of construction lowering house prices, allowing more people to buy their own home, which then leads to a more equally balanced economy. Additionally, if you want to upgrade your current come and expand it, that also becomes cheaper. Once materials get strong enough, then people will be able to become their own architects, building modifications to their home in VR/AR and other simulations, then ordering drones to arrive and start building from the local construction firm. Be prepared for penis-shaped houses, seriously; they may be everywhere if 3D printing history tells us anything.
The smart home will consist of smart appliances, climate control and lighting. They are already available and will make a significant difference in the lives of people who have restricted movement. There are major smart energy devices such as Nest and Hive already on the market and are relatively cheap, especially given that they are likely to pay for themselves over time.
Smart homes are necessary for most of us. However, like most things we adopt, it’s not out of necessity, it is out of convenience. So lights you can talk to, to turn on or off when you’re in bed would be nice, as is microwaving a meal when you are too lazy to cook.
Effective energy usage will also feed into point 5. It’s quite possible the towns and districts that promote smart homes and self-sustainability will be the first to produce a surplus of energy. The economics will propel this forward. The US could be 80% renewable by 2035. The UK could do this by 2030 if it tried hard.
Ok, so you may have realised that most of the ‘Home of the Future’ items are basically already available in some form. However, the stuff we want include robots doing our chores. Well, we already have robots that will vacuum for us, so that’s a start. However, the Moley kitchen robot is what we really want, right? Home-cooked freshly prepared meals without lifting a finger. For those of us that work late, you could have dinner ready as soon as you walk through the door. Amazing!
So how long until we can have one installed and how much will it cost?
So, right now it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. Moreover, like most first version products, it won’t be worth the money. Moley is planning on a consumer version costing around $335,000. Which is probably a little too high for the mass market.
Wait until 2024-2025 and then buy one for much cheaper. Who knows, you might be able to get one second-hand!
Yes, home assistants combine all previous points under one. An intelligent AI to be the homemaker house-spouse the housekeeper. Alexa will control your home, Cortana will control your work and Google will control your life.
The end goal; Circa 2027.
Alexa (and friends) will prepare your breakfast and coffee just before she wakes you up. The lights will slowly come on as will some personalised music she has chosen for you. Some new and some old favourites. As you approach the shower, it will turn on to your preferred temperature. Alexa, who knows your routine perfectly, will then confirm your transport that she had previously arranged for your schedule. Once you are ready for work, your transport will arrive (possibly a Ford Auto-Cab). You will then be greeted by Cortana, and you can start work while on your commute.
Meanwhile, Alexa is clearing the dishes with a few ‘Home-Drones’ and clearing the floor with a vacuum bot. She’ll then decide what to order you for dinner, and send your clothes to be cleaned (because a personal robot laundry system will take up too much space and bee too expensive. Plus dry cleaning will be really cheap due to the robot labour). Later in the day your Amazon deliveries, groceries and dry-cleaning from the previous day will arrive. The delivery and service personnel (Possibly from Deliveroo as well as Amazon) will be let into the secure 3D printed front porch to drop everything off and collect the new dry-cleaning and garbage. Once they have left, Alexa will send in the bots and drones to collect and distribute everything to the kitchen and bedroom. Alexa will then wait for Cortana to confirm your ride home (just to make sure your plans haven’t changed). Then based on your ETA home Alexa will turn on the heating and ask Moley to start cooking you dinner.