Friday, August 31, 2012

The Future Home: Talked About for Decades But is Here Today

The future home is something that people have talked about for decades. And, because the future home concept tickles our imagination, scientists and engineers have been working hard to develop different systems to make houses "smarter." In the paragraphs below I will outlines some of the technology for future homes that is either in development or already on the market. Video camera at entrance identifies visitors using facial recognition software. The facial recognition software of the future home will not only identify friends, but strangers as well. And the software in your future home will run the strangers face against a database of criminals and terrorists.

Toilets of the future will not only be heated, void of toilet paper, have a pleasing cleansing of the behind, but will also analyze stool samples for medical problems such as colon cancer and urine samples for teenage drug use or pregnancy issues.

Remote monitoring of the future home is already here, but also on your PDA or other handheld device you'll be able to manually override your future smart home's systems on the fly.

Unexpected guests arriving, well, start that air conditioning early or open the door when the video facial recognition software detects their presents.

The future home will run off solar panels, wind turbines or both. Backup batteries may be used or an electrolyzer, compressed hydrogen and a fuel cell may also be used as backup power. Extra hydrogen and electricity will be produced and stored so you can fuel up and recharge your hydrogen fuel cell plug-in hybrid electric car, which is the future car you'll most likely be driving.

The future home will also have smart appliances as well. Ovens, microwaves and refrigerators will be combined and automated so remote cooking will be a possibility so meals are prepared for one's arrival. Think this is science fiction. Check out the TMIO kitchen appliances for a start.

Future homes will also have refrigerators that will download recipes based upon what it is stocked with and what is in your pantry. The recipes will then be forwarded to you. In the home of the future, the refrigerator will also take inventory of all food supplies in the home and alert you when you're running out. The refrig may also be programmed to contact the local supermarket to drop off the needed food supplies.

Future homes will also be very energy efficient. Microsoft, Google and others are now working on applications that tie into the smart grid for individual home so that you will be able to visually see and track which appliances use the most electricity, where heating and cooling is escaping in from one's home and how you can produce more energy with your solar panels or wind turbines.

In the future home there will be a vast neural networking system connecting all appliances, TV's, PC's, video, security and remote handheld or Bluetooth-type devices. There will also be other green systems in place such as saving, purifying and reusing wash water and bath water. Plants and people may receive pure or mineralized drinking water.

Speech recognition will be far superior to Dragon Naturally Speaking or other programs and applied to this network. Besides facial recognition software, your future home may also combine speech recognition software, hand or fingerprint scanning or a combination of these security measures. One will easily be able to chat over social media about a television show that both or multiple parties are watching in real time.

 Smart showers will not only be able to recycle water, but will be able to store individual profiles for each member of the family according to preferences and patterns of usage. One member may take long baths while another short showers. Automated soap and shampoo dispensing for male or female will be programmed in. Water temperature and pressure settings can also be individualized.

In the future home, the smart bathroom will also be able to take inventory of such items as toilet paper, shampoo, soap, hand soap, and other toiletries and then automatically either remind or reorder the items as desired.

Since future homes will have advanced network systems, self-diagnostics will also be a critical feature. If one part of the network or peripherals is malfunctioning or needs repair, the owner will be notified or else and automated repair order will go out. Self-healing of many software problems will occur in the future home as patches or workarounds can be download or remote support enabled.

If you think this future home concept is pie in the sky or science fiction, then think again. Most of the systems outlined here are either in development or already out on the market. Future homes may not be standard yet for the middle class but this isn't as far ahead as many people would think.

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