Over the past century technology has made incredible advances that earlier inventors could have never predicted. We now use a word that was once used to describe humans to describe technology… at that word is “smart.” However, when it is applied to technology, it is not just a word that gives it a level of respect, it is also an acronym standing for “Self-Monitoring Analysis And Reporting Technology.” The main purpose of SMART is to keep your hard drive running smoothly and prevent it from crashing. But to us commoners with little technological knowledge, our smart devices do so much more than that. So far smart technology, mainly in cellular phones, can do everything from arming our security systems in our homes when we aren’t there to taking us reservations at our favorite restaurants. While these developments are impressive, they have yet to reach their full potential. The future has many more SMART things in store for us including cars that can drive themselves, robots that can help us walk, and even houses that can clean themselves.
There have been steps toward the development of a SMART house in the present day with things like an all-in-one remote that can turn on lights, control the television and stereo systems, and even arm the security system. But the goals in the future and the predictions that are being made about the full capabilities of SMART house are impressive, exciting, and electrifying.
Engineers who are in the process of advancing SMART homes predict changes in almost every aspect of the home. It starts with the construction of the home itself. They are developing ways to make self-assembling homes that are earthquake proof. They are trying to make windows and walls that can allow and adjustable amount of sunlight, fresh air, warmth, and heat in. They are also make developments in soundproof rooms and windows as well as soundproof energy fields that can be walked through (no more noise complaints!).
In the bedroom, engineers predict self making beds, artificial sunrises personalized to the time in which someone wants to be waken up, a suggestions from a computer in the closet on outfits to wear based on the weather, activities for the day, and someone’s style.
Engineers are working on bathrooms that can eliminate waste on their own and ultrasonic showers that can remember the temperature each individual in the household likes. As well as heated floors, lit mirrors, heated towels, and even a device that can perfectly put on a female’s makeup. Some also predict hair styling devices and toothbrushes that work by themselves to get the best clean for its user.
Advances in the kitchen include things like faster cooking that can boil water in seconds and cook a full thanksgiving turkey in under an hour. The kitchen is said to be equipped with a recipe database that cannot only suggest recipes, but side dishes and other courses that will compliment a meal. The kitchen will be able to take an inventory of items it has and record items it needs as well as create personalized diets for each individual within the household. One day, the kitchen will have its very own robot chef who can either cook a full meal or order out, pay, and layout take out food.
Décor wise, the SMART house will have shape-shifting furniture that can be suitable for any occasion or can be hidden within the walls when not being used. The walls, floors, and fabrics around the house will be able to change color so remodeling will never be the hassle it is today.
There are many more possibilities that include computers, new electricity plans, environmental adjustments (like a house that uses artificial chlorophyll as an oxygen generator), advancements in security, and even houses that come with virtual medicine that monitors your health through tiny, invisible, wireless wearable computing devices.
While all these advancements seem amazing, to me they are scary. It seem like technology is taking over and through all these machines and new technologies, humans are going to become completely dependent and therefor helpless. We have all seen the movies where robots and technology take over (my favorite being Disney’s Wall-e), and with advancements like the SMART home we will no longer need to cook, clean, brush our own teeth, and even pick out our own clothes. The question remains: How much technology is too much?