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TheFutureParty

What Will Future Houses Look Like?

In the last few years, we’ve seen nearly every technology get a “smart” makeover. Appliances we didn’t even realize could or should get hooked up to the internet are suddenly responsive to an app on your phone.

Did you know they make smart litter boxes now? They self-clean. Seriously.

Products like these are only becoming more popular and, importantly, more affordable. And as it’s hard to go back once you’ve started relying on smart products, we have to wonder what houses of the future will look like.

Is there a world where everything around us is automated? Can we live in smart houses? At a time where climate change is already delivering its devastating effects, how can we build houses that both help the Earth and withstand disaster?

Well, our team at The Future Party took a spin around the internet to see what’s being developed for homes of the future. Some are more science-fiction than others, but all are pretty eye-opening about where we’re headed. Ready to start decorating for the 2030s and beyond? Keep reading for our predictions.

Everything Will Be Smart: The Internet of Things Will Only Expand

Coined in 1999, the Internet of Things refers to the connectivity between human beings and the objects around them. It’s the technology that empowers us to turn on air conditioners before we get home, set the mood with colored light settings, and see who’s knocking on our doors without getting up from the couch.

Think about the objects around you that are currently hooked up to the internet. Five years ago, that may have just been your phone and your computer. Today, that list may include your doorbell, your refrigerator, or your vacuum cleaner. More and more, manufacturing companies are looking to install ‘smart’ capabilities into their products. These tools allow us to operate the products remotely, get reports on their efficiencies and errors, and save ourselves from some manual labor.

It’s a safe bet that homes of the future will consider this standard practice. So let’s explore what we can expect to start seeing in listings.  

Home Security

This is a trend we’re already seeing everywhere, and it’s only going to become more prevalent. After utilities (water and electricity meters), the security industry is the second biggest use of internet-enabled devices. 

In other words, expect to be monitored every time you step foot onto someone’s property. Facial recognition technology will also enable homeowners to use their faces to unlock doors, rather than using keys.

Cooling and Heating

You’ve probably already seen this technology at work, too. Google’s Nest thermostat allows homeowners to set their home temperature from their phones. It also knows when you’re not home and adjusts the temperature, so the house is more efficient. Expect more technology like this; anything that helps homes save energy will be huge (even more so than it is now).

Food Storage and Cooking

More and more refrigerators and pantries are being installed with screens so homeowners can order groceries and look up recipes without leaving the kitchen. 

Experts see this type of utility expanding even further, with voice activation technology enabling people to essentially tell their kitchen to prepare their food. Long-term, we may even be able to 3D print our meals, though something tells us a home-cooked meal from mom will always taste better than a 3D-printed one.

Waste Disposal

Remember the litter box from before? Imagine that kind of technology but made for, well, humans. Smart toilets exist, but they’re not yet in widespread use. You can use voice commands to heat up the seat, flush the toilet, and even put the seat down. These also include high-tech cleaning abilities to spare you from having to scrub ever again. 

From our coffee makers to the cars in our garages, everything in the future will be wifi-enabled, BlueTooth-operated, and increasingly automated. 

Preparing For A New World: Building Homes in the Age of Climate Change

As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to in the future. Personally speaking, we’re definitely ready for self-cleaning toilets. 

But one element we are less excited to meet? The realities of climate change. Simply put, starting now (and what should have been yesterday), all housing needs to meet the demands of the new world. There are two important ways that these demands will change what our homes look like.

1. Environmental Efficiency: Homes Have To Become Greener

If we’re going to do anything to stop or slow the effects of climate change, our houses are going to have to work harder to reduce energy expenditure.

Tesla has been hard at work on their solar roofs for a while now, and we’re expecting this technology to become more commonplace soon. More sleekly designed than solar panels of the past, these tiles can power your entire house. And while the technology itself costs a pretty penny, once installed, they’re actually less expensive than most people’s monthly electricity bill. You’re also likely to be eligible for tax incentives.

Beyond electricity, homes of the future will also work harder to conserve heat and reduce energy waste. Within the walls and on the floorboards, you’re more likely to see engineered and 3D-printed materials that need less frequent replacing. Which is a perfect segue to… 

2. Resistance to Extreme Weather: Homes Have to Deal With Unpredictable Storms

Houses of the future are going to need to withstand more weather, no matter where they’re located. While we can’t know what the future will bring, we do know that more moisture in the air will lead to more storms. So we have to raise the standard for what we deem acceptable when we say “up to code.”

Expect to see fire-proof and earthquake-proof bunkers included in home listings. At the very least, you should see flood and storm insurance rates increase. That’s the cost of living in the future. 

Okay, But Where’s The Floating House I Was Promised?

We know you may have been hoping for a more glamorous future, and we can’t blame you. Building homes to resist the impact of climate change is not the happiest topic and so we offer this section as a reprieve.

In 2016, Samsung released its SmartThings Future Living Report, outlining the potential for housing in the future based on current trends and demands. There, they sketched out something that feels more science-fiction than dystopian thriller. Here are some of the highlights:

  • High rises that dwarf current skyscrapers and house entire cities. These will need to be resistant to heavier winds.
  • Underwater cities in massive bubbles. Imagine a school of fish swimming by your living room. Kinda cool, right?
  • Groundscrapers (high rises that build down rather than up). With space on the Earth’s crust becoming more limited, it may be time to start digging. This also helps with the shelter issues we talked about earlier.
  • Virtual office and remote meetings. As this report was released in 2016, Samsung could not have predicted the prevalence of remote work today. Now that the world has gone remote, we’re unlikely to ever return to offices in the same numbers.
  • Colonies on the face of the Moon and Mars. This, in addition to commercial space flight, is actually looking more and more like a reality. One benefit? We all weigh less up there.

In the five years since Samsung released this report, some of their predictions have been proven and so it’s not a stretch of the imagination to think ground scrapers and underwater cities could be a real possibility for our lifetimes.

Some Last Thoughts On The Future of Homes

In many ways, it feels like we’re on the precipice of a new era in housing and technology. People living today may be the last to remember what it was like to flip a light switch, clean a toilet by hand, or answer the door without already knowing who is there.

While we’re in this limbo, it’s fun (and at times daunting) to consider the possibilities of where we’re headed. We can never know for certain what will happen, but we’re predicting to see:

  • Internet-enabled everything. From the walls around us to our cookware to our cleaning products, in the future, everything will be automated and controlled via remote devices or by our own voices.
  • Climate change adaptivity. As the world around us evolves, housing will need to meet new demands. Expect stricter regulations on energy efficiency standards and construction designed to resist extreme weather.
  • Science-fiction-inspired design. Cities will soar even higher, and we may even see them move underground or underwater. Astronauts will become colonizers on foreign planets and moons, and we may never go back to the office. 


So, are you prepared for what the future holds? If nothing else, we’re excited to check back in a few years and see what we got right and wrong, and The Future Party will keep you updated all the way there.

 

 

Sources:

What is the IoT? Everything you need to know about the Internet of Things right now | ZDNet

4 Designers Envision the Post-Pandemic Kitchen of the Future | Real Simple

Resilient Homes; Why We Need To Build To Withstand Climate Change Events | EcoHome

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1. Environmental Efficiency: Homes Have To Become Greener