What will houses of the future look like?
AUSTRALIA’S homes will become smarter and safer in the future — due in part to the infiltration of artificial intelligence.
They’ll also become smaller as affordability restraints leave homebuyers wanting to be in the heart of the action with little choice but to opt for high-density living.
Telstra director of product innovation Jeremy Howe said the future home would learn its occupants’ habits and robotically fulfil their needs — for example, by switching on the coffee machine and morning news when they wake up, adjusting the temperature so it’s cozy when they arrive home from work, and dimming the lights when they’re winding down at night.
These AI capabilities would combine with available products like Google Home and Amazon Echo to allow homeowners to control their homes’ functions “with a single voice command”.
This would come in handy if you have your hands full with the shopping and want to turn the lights on, or you’re washing the dishes and want to turn on a kitchen appliance.
Technology advancements would also make the home more secure via motion sensors, facial recognition and cameras connected to smartphones.
Much of this tech was already available — it was only a matter of time before it become more commonplace, AI and smart homes will be one of the biggest tech trends in Australia this year.
For companies like Google and Tesla, their business strategy centres on the home, so the change is going to accelerate in the next five years.
The property expert also forecast that houses would be built more efficiently — as quick as within 12 weeks — and at a cheaper cost.
A lot of the construction is going to be done in factories, then the pieces will be transported to the site and put together like Lego.
That future was already here to an extent, with houses being 3D printed in Japan and a Perth company creating a “robot brick layer”
Emerging hi-tech home features included “smart gardens” that ensured plants had adequate levels of water, light and nutrients, and thermostats that automatically turned themselves on and off, and up and down, based on whether occupants were home and what they were doing.
This will conserve energy and reduce the cost of electricity bills.
Charging electric cars in garages and collecting rainwater in tanks would also become more common sustainable practices in future.
Urban Development Institute of Australia’s Victoria chief executive Danni Addison said homeowners would increasingly give up the dream of owning a quarter-acre block and opt to live in “smaller, low-maintenance” apartments and townhouses in the “heart of the action”.
Shared backyards, vegetable gardens and “communal dog parks in apartment complexes” were accordingly on the way.
Throughout the home:
-Lights that turn on/dim automatically/with a voice command
-Heating and cooling that automatically turns on and off and adjusts based on the optimum temperature of who’s home
-Motion sensors, facial recognition and cameras connected to smartphones for security purposes
-Tesla “Powerwall” systems that power the home so the occupants can live off-the-grid
-Smart sofas that wirelessly charge your phone or tablet, track how long you’ve been watching TV and monitor your posture
-Voice-operated TVs, and TVs that automatically turn on the news in the morning or at night
-Coffee machines that automatically turn on when you wake up
-Appliances that turn on with a “single voice command”
-Techy Tupperware that reminds you to eat food before it goes bad
-Smart home devices recommending dinner recipes based on the most popular dishes on Google, and ordering ingredients based on what’s left in your fridge
-Smart gardens that ensure plants have adequate levels of water, light and nutrients
-Water tanks to become more prominent
-Shared backyards to emerge
-Electric car chargers
-Solar panels that look “like slate tiles” on rooftops