The announcement of the winners of the Electrolux annual design competition got us thinking about what’s to come in the house of the future. The competition, targeted to design students worldwide, looked for entries that created a holistic sensory experience that could become household appliances of the future. Ten finalists were chosen from more than 1,200 entries. A few that we found interesting were:
- A coffee maker that uses hand print technology to brew the perfect cup for the person whose hand print it reads.
- A refrigeration wall that uses honeycomb-like sections for cooling and keeps your food and drinks out in the open, rather than behind a closed door. The sections conserve energy by not cooling unless there is something in them.
- An automatic stirring mechanism for stirring pots on the stove, freeing the cook to do other things.
- A tree-shaped food storage device that can sense when food is going to expire or spoil. It turns the container different colors and actually drops the container from the tree when it is no longer good.
While custom remodelers may or may not find themselves installing some of these in the years to come, we’re actually seeing full-house control systems becoming a reality in today’s homes. Customers are asking for built-in systems that include home entertainment and electronics, security, lighting, heating, cooling and electric functions, with the ability to control from a mobile device and remote location. It’s an automated house, and the custom remodeler should be working with a low-voltage specialist, or custom electronics integrator. Both the remodeler and the integrator should be involved from the start, if you’re considering a “smart home” remodel. Together, they can evaluate the wiring needs and any other special considerations and give you an accurate budget and timeline for your House of the Future.