Will homes soon be powered and operated all from a smartphone?
"There are smarter phones, so why not smarter homes?" Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud CEO, told USA Today. "It's perhaps natural that the phone is a remote control for a lot of things. Touch-screens are replacing buttons."
A range of home devices could soon all be controlled by a phone or tablet, from kitchen appliances to washers and dryers, lights, pools, and windows, says tech experts.
Major tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Samsung are eyeing home technology as a booming business and are introducing a range of products for wired and automated homes. For example in May, Microsoft debuted an operating system for homes, called HomeOS, that connects smartphones, game consoles, wireless routers, home-automation devices, tablets, and security cameras, all for easier access, sharing files, and syncing.
The attention to wired homes also is causing architects to take a closer look at how they design and build homes so that they can better incorporate the new gadgets, blending them into kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms, USA Today reports. For example, entertainment centers need sound systems and screens within walls, and architect Tom Kinslow notes that smart windows are larger than traditional windows.
A range of products are being developed to outfit these high-tech homes. For example, flexible displays built into kitchen appliances will be able to tell home owners the proper temperature to cook an item at or even whether something has spoiled in the refrigerator. Bossa Nova Robotics is even developing a robot maid that will be able to complete house chores while home owners are away at work.
Source: “Welcome to the Home of the Future,” USA Today (Jan. 3, 2012)