While they might seem like something out of “The Jetsons,” smart homes and the technologies that fuel them are the future. And with the advent of smart lights, burglar alarms, and even smart refrigerators, the future is now. Although many homes already have state-of-the-art technologies which keep the lights on and the burglars away, homes of the future will have technologies that will stretch the imagination. Here are four ways (beyond smart refrigerators and lighting systems) that technology will affect homes of the future.
1. Community Warning Systems
John Barret, a professor at the Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, suggests that not all changes that affect smart homes will affect individual homes. He points out that homes in designed communities might have a systemwide warning system.
Say, for example, that it’s spring and your neighborhood begins to flood. As the smart devices in your home detect the rising water, a warning will go out to all of the other homes in your area. With technologies such as this, residents around you will know if they can stay put or if they need to move to higher ground. In theory, such a system could even help you check on your neighbors in an emergency: Each home would have the potential to monitor who stays and who goes during such an event.
2. Insurance Costs
In the future, if you’re interested in getting cheaper home insurance quotes, you may have to have a specific kind of smart technology, according to an article on the Bobatoo website. All of the gadgets in the home of the future will have a connection to each other. That connection will go into your home’s smart system, which will detect issues like gas leaks, flood or mold damage, and any other potential disaster-waiting-to-happen.
In turn, this information will get fed into your insurance company’s computer system. It’s likely that you’ll either have to correct whatever problem your home’s smart system finds or face higher insurance rates. On the flip side, homeowners who keep their homes in good repair could enjoy reduced insurance rates.
3. Building Materials Will Change
It’s likely that having your home built by bacteria probably hasn’t made it to your bucket list just yet. However, it could in the future. Building technologies these days can harness the power of bacteria and fungi to create eco-friendly bricks, shingles, and other building materials.
And some building materials won’t even be built by bacteria or fungi. Instead, some companies like EvocativeDesign are actually looking at ways to make houses out of materials like mushrooms. Who’d have thought?
4. Company-Created Energy
Almost all people love to have guests over. However, usually, the reasons have to do with affairs of the heart. In the future, homes could be built in such a way that your guests’ footprints will fuel your home as well as your heart.
Technologies like the tiles created by Pavegen turn the energy created from your and your guests’ footsteps into energy that you can use to light up your home. This will allow homeowners to capitalize on their own man-made energy instead of the energy created by the local utility company.
By now, most people probably expect their homes to be a house-sized version of their smartphones. Although these homes have been called the homes of the future, they already exist now. Current technological advances mean that your home’s alarm system, electrical outlets, and even messaging systems associated with your computer are all connected.
However, homes of the future will not only have these technologies. They will include building materials made from mushrooms and building tiles that allow you to get your energy from your own physical efforts. In the process, peripheral elements like what’s going on your neighbor’s home as well as the price of your insurance could all become a more interconnected as the influence of the Internet of Things continues to evolve.