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House Of The Future … Part 1: The Kitchen

Disneys 1957 House of the Future vs. Todays House of the Future

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Imagine how wonderful it would be to live in a house like this, says a woman viewing Monsantos House of the Future in Disneys 1957 Tomorrowland video, Maybe someday.

How far off were those ideas? What does a connected home look like today? What will it look like in the future?

In this blog series, I will discuss Disneys vision of the future home and compare it to todays technology.

The Kitchen

To most people today, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and this was even more true in the 1950s.

It was a dream to have a dishwasher with ultrasonic waves that also collapsed into storage for dishes; cupboards and refrigerator storage spaces that slid up and down from the ceiling; microwaves and oven spaces that popped up from the counter.

In the 50s, these features were designed for convenience. Todays innovators, inspired by these early ideas, have taken the smart home to unexpected places. We have already seen connected kitchens with refrigerators that warn us that the door has been open too long, dishwashers that can sense the shape and size of dishes, and ovens that refrigerate food until the appointed cooking time.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Evgeny Morozov asked, Is Smart Making Us Dumb?

While expressing legitimate concerns over individualism, creativity and privacy, there is no doubt that smart devices can help us be more productive, healthier, safer and even more environmentally aware.

All of this is possible of course because of M2M communication using Wireless IP data technologies. M2M communication has never been faster, or less power-intensive, and this creates new possibilities for the house of the future.

So what does the house of the future look like? We have all heard of smart appliances and many of us have refrigerators and ovens with touch screen features.

But what about controlling every aspect of the kitchen from just one screen? All you need in the kitchen to make your life easier: an entertainment system, cooking equipment, and even preset profiles for special occasions that control music, lighting, and other event preparations for youall controlled by one touch screen. Running out of a key ingredient? Use the touch screen to review ingredients, health facts, and even purchase groceries.

Many of these ideas, and more, are now on display in the Living Tomorrow project. Researchers from the University of Washington and Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan have created similar concepts with smart counter spaces. Embedded with tiny robots, the countertops are designed to tell us what kinds of foods go together and what kinds dont, so you can create the best possible meal just with the food in your pantry.

Once your meal is ready to be enjoyed, you can control your eating speed with the HAPIfork, a smart fork that can monitor how quickly you are eating and signal you to slow down using indicator lights.

Thinking about throwing out the leftovers in your smart trash bin at the end of your meal? The BinCam (an experimental project) takes a picture of what you throw out via a tiny camera on the inside of the lid, uploads the image to social media sites, such as Facebook, for you to compete with friends and earn points based on how well you practice recycling habits.

These inventions will not only revolutionize the kitchen, but also our habits and behavior!

What about the rest of the house? you might ask! Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series.