Envision a not-too-distant future where your home can monitor your heartbeat, take your temperature and even alert medical practitioners in an emergency. Imagine a home that can even adjust lighting and atmosphere according to your mood.
The future of smart home technology takes custom comfort to an unprecedented level.
While our homes still fall a little short of full sci-fi status, the reality of hobnobbing with robots over dinner or controlling room ambience through body language is closer than you think. In this article, we’ll look at two futuristic home concepts on the horizon of innovation: adaptive environments and health analytics.
Current smart home technology, which includes cool gadgets like programmable LED lights and thermostats, lets users automate devices to their preferences. Of course, a manual interface and a little bit of handy work are still required to make the magic happen.
In the future, homeowners will be able to dynamically change settings—from lighting, and temperature to ambient sounds—based on biometrics, such as heart rate, body temperature, or even emotional features present in the face. Smart cameras paired with microphones will recognize body language and conversation volume, enabling atmospheric adjustments according to mood. (Dinner parties will never be the same.)
Energetic guests with happy facial expressions would trigger bright lights and upbeat music—whereas quiet, sullen visitors would trigger a soothing, more relaxed atmosphere to relieve tension and keep the peace. As the evening winds down, music would taper off, the temperature would increase, and lights would dim—guests would begin to feel sleepy and call it a night.
Banking on health monitoring being the next big thing, today’s smartphone manufacturers are investing heavily in devices that monitor and track changes in blood sugar, heart rate and oxygen saturation. As this type of technology matures and makes its way into the smart homes of the future, we can expect real-time health diagnostics and information gathering to become the norm.
Receptors built into beds will track sleep quality, triggering sunrise or sunset simulations after optimal rest. (That beats waking up to a beeping alarm clock.) In an emergency, like a heart attack or stroke, health authorities and family members are promptly alerted. And for minor health concerns, like a fever or elevated blood pressure, a doctor’s appointment would be automatically scheduled. (That’s much better than waiting on hold.) With advances in diagnostic medicine and cloud computing, it isn’t hard to imagine a future where smart homes could even calculate the risk of long-term illnesses.
Who knows: Maybe the smart homes of the future will do our taxes. (In a perfect world.)
Wired: Smart Homes Of The Future Will Know Us By Our Heartbeats
World Future Society: From Smart House to Networked Home
Tech Radar: The future of facial recognition: big brother or our new best friend
This article and its content are sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric US Inc., Cooling & Heating Division.