Is this what the house of the future will be like? Cambridge technology experts IDTechEx describe the ultimate smart home

The key elements of a sustainable property have been revealed by IDTechEx, the Hills Road-based independent business intelligence organisation.

The ‘home of the future’ is a smart home loaded with cutting-edge technology and engineering designed to retain heat and automate as many functions as possible. IDTechEx research suggests these homes will also “take care of you” by providing “warmth that goes from room to room with you” and “a floor you can feel when you fall.”

This is what he came up with:

The IDTechEx smart home of the future

From the windows to the walls

Smart homes started with complementary appliances like Google Home, smart refrigerators, or doorbells. These add-on features are useful for customizing a home to the needs of the inhabitants, but they can be clunky, with dead outlets and unsightly wiring on walls and floors. Next up is embedded technology, ubiquitous throughout the building and eventually the neighborhood.

If these walls could talk

The house could help with the care of the vulnerable; Ground pressure sensors could analyze gait to learn if residents fall or appear to be limping, and could alert family, friends or support services.

New technologies tearing down the house

IDTechEx reports that London and New Hampshire-based sensor technology company Laiier is focusing on leak detection. The goal is to integrate technology into the ownership structure. However, large-area thin-film sensors are now available that can be placed under appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and boilers. Sensors can also be produced in tape format for installation at low cost and without any specific expertise.

Smart homes provide continuous feedback to help control the environment in which you live.  Image: iStock/PA
Smart homes provide continuous feedback to help control the environment in which you live. Image: iStock/PA

greenhouse inhabitants

With energy costs being a hot topic right now, The Warming Surfaces Company partnered with Portuguese high-pressure laminate company Soforma to develop prototypes of a film that, when integrated into the laminate, can allow surfaces to provide heat. This can be used for underfloor heating, heated walls, and integration into furniture.

smart mats

InnovationLab has developed a system that determines the number of customers in the store at any given time. Additionally, the system can discriminate between customers and forklifts/carts to improve accuracy.

This technology could one day be used in applications such as nursing homes and assisted living to alert medical staff to the progress of patients and potential injuries and dangers.

bright ideas

Fumbling around for the light switch could become a thing of the past. Lighting, of course, is already built into most homes, but printed electronics offer visuals with a twist.

Tactotek highlighted that as smart homes become more and more established, product developers must face the challenge of how to incorporate more electronics into products without sacrificing beauty and style.

Examples include embedding electronic functionality under wood veneers and within thin layers of plastic.

Tracking your energy usage is now standard.  Image: Alamy/PA
Tracking your energy usage is now standard. Image: Alamy/PA

The House of the future

All these growing technologies paint a picture of the house of the future. Pressure sensors that interact with heating, lighting, and humidity sensors could make a home with built-in lighting that could react to the time of day and turn off when a person leaves the room.

Ultra-efficient underfloor heating that could follow a person around a room and heat surfaces to keep food and drink hot and cold as needed. A house that detects leaks, falls and dangers, taking into account both the safety of the inhabitant and his comfort.

IDTechEx has also published analysis of trends in 2023, including the printed/flexible electronics market and the digital transformation of the materials R&D sector.

On December 2 at 10am, IDTechEx is hosting an online webinar titled “What Will 2023 Hold for Virtual and Augmented Reality?”.

Full event details and reports can be found at idtechex.com.


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