The smart home is full of possibilities. As evidence, we need look no further than the attention it demands in mainstream publications. What we mean is that just about every article about home technology starts with an Imagine if…, an enticement to visualize a home in which you live in perfect sync with the digital objects that surround you. Maybe it’s because we have grown so accustomed to the convenience that technology provides, but it’s a lot of fun to think about what more we can expect. What follows are just a few examples – some ideas that are just on the horizon and others better categorized as creative thinking – of how the digital home is coming together.
“A rug with a dirt sensor will tell a Roomba when to vacuum or the windshield of a car will tell the alarm clock to wake up its owner a little early when there is frost on the windshield.”
– Eric Savitz, Forbes Magazine
“Imagine an oven that’s so smart that on the day of the big game it’s able to send you a text and say, ‘Hey, your roast is about done. You’d better get in the kitchen.'”
– Patrick Steinkuhl, LG’s product insight manager to CNN
“In the future, you’ll be able to ditch your remote and simply swipe your hand through the air to change channels. Or how about integrating a Kinect with a cleaning robot, allowing it to interact with humans and map its surroundings.”
– Adam Verwymeren, Fox News
If the Imagine if… scenarios of the past are any indication of what’s to come, we can be pretty sure that if someone can dream it up, someone else will build it. Take for instance the following concept that today would strike any of us as pretty ordinary.
“Imagine being able to call your house to regulate the temperature in a given room or to turn on a specific appliance. A home with a centrally located video display could tell you whether a light was left on or whether a door was left open and where.”
– Steve Maentz, The Chicago Tribue, 1987
At other times, you’ll be given a really cool Imagine if… scenario, only to be pleasantly surprised that the technology is available right now, today.
“Imagine a house where your appliances run themselves, where lights adjust without you having to get up, and where your snail-mailbox would send you a message when you get a package.”
– Elizabeth Fish, PC World
“Wouldn’t it be great if you could lie in bed at night and turn off all the lights in the house? Or if you could use your computer at work to unlock your front door for the plumber? Or tell the oven to cook your meal exactly the way you like it?”
“Imagine carrying your tablet or phone around the house, and if you forgot to shut off a light or appliance, you can do it remotely by tapping a button on your screen. Or, imagine your house turning into a giant, Android-powered media streamer.”
– Adrian Covert, Gizmodo