July 14, 2024

Flex Tech

Innovation in Every Curve

20 Tech Features That May Soon Be Common In Homes

In the mid-20th century, a variety of short films seriously (and humorously) speculated on the technological wonders of the “home of the future.” We’re still waiting for some of these conveniences—such as the flying cars of The Jetsons—but we’ve fully realized others, such as being able to shop from home via video screen, as predicted in the 1967 film 1999 A.D.

Recent years have seen a surge in new home and personal technology tools, and the next home technology wave may be here soon. Below, 20 members of Forbes Technology Council discuss tech features they believe will soon be common in homes, from better energy management systems to adaptive, personalized assistants—and more.

1. Assistive Health Tech

I would bet on assistive health technology. There may be tools that monitor whether people are taking their medications (or even providing the medications). Others may be able to measure indicators in blood or urine samples. Such tools could save public services a lot of effort and money while helping to improve community health. – Luboslava Uram, UniCredit

2. AI-Enabled Assistants

AI-enabled household assistants will boom. With the convergence of home automation devices, natural language processing and investments in artificial intelligence models, it’s only a matter of time before we end up with home automation that predicts our needs and proactively adjusts our experience. No more preprogrammed experiences or choppy voice control—AI agents in our homes will adjust to our real-time needs. – Peter Guagenti, Tabnine

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3. VR For Daily Activities

With the imminent launch of the new Apple Vision Pro, virtual reality will play a prominent role in households. Aiming to bring together users’ daily activities—from work to sports to entertainment to social engagement to shopping—in one place, it will seamlessly integrate those functions, leveraging historical iOS data, intuitively providing recommendations and using 3D capabilities. – Olga Dogadkina, Emperia

4. Multipurpose AR And VR

In the next five to 10 years, I expect most homes to incorporate augmented reality and virtual reality for various purposes. These could include immersive entertainment, virtual meetings, virtual home tours, and enhanced training and educational experiences, all making AR and VR a more integrated and interactive part of daily life. – Itzik Alvas, Entro Security

5. More Active Smart Devices

Smart devices underpinned by Internet of Things technology are likely to start playing a more prominent role in our homes. For example, via internet or Bluetooth connectivity, mobile apps and virtual assistants such as Alexa or Google Home will assist with monitoring and/or controlling a variety of objects and functions, such as the fridge temperature, the home’s climate, the smart TV, pool equipment, lights, speakers, garage doors, electronic gates and more. – Valentine Wats, TEMSCONSU – (Excelitte & PMPplanner Brands)

6. Doorway Sensors

I expect to see AI sensors incorporated into the doors of homes to monitor people entering and exiting the house. There are numerous cases involving a child leaving a house unnoticed, resulting in mishaps. This can be greatly avoided through the simple use of sensors, which would also enable the automatic detection of strangers attempting to enter a house. – V S Adithya Dwadasi, AHEAD

7. Cooperative Smart Devices

We will experience a transformation from a connected home to a true smart home. All devices will work together like a smart robot, and its digital twin in the cloud will help set it up. Matter-enabled smart home gateways can connect to any smart device and turn a home into a true smart home with many features, from an ultra-wideband-enabled smart lock to a micro-grid to a smart connected fridge to automated shutters. – Lars Reger, NXP Semiconductors

8. Dedicated Wellness Spaces

In five to 10 years, homes could become holistic sanctuaries for nurturing our most precious asset: our wellness. I visualize dedicated wellness spaces as well as immersive experiences throughout the home for meditation, reflection, ideation, physical exercise and more. Homes would be a place to escape the frenetic pace, sensory overload, information deluge, complexity, fear of missing out and uncertainty of the world of 2030 and beyond. – Vikram Srivats, WaveMaker

9. Tools To Support Aging Populations

I work with several early-stage startups that focus on technologies for enabling independent living for our aging population, at-home medical support, and support for those with disabilities. The use of IoT appliances, wearables and sensors with accessible, conversational AI interfaces will be the norm. Behavioral and predictive analytics will enable preventative medical treatments and alerts. – John Walsh, III, Red Summit

10. Comprehensive Energy Management Systems

Advances in power management systems will enable homeowners to automate and enhance their home’s energy usage. These systems offer real-time insights into energy consumption for precise tracking and optimization. With the ability to identify energy-hungry devices and patterns, homeowners are able to make more informed decisions, reducing waste and cutting down on electricity bills. – Daryl Friedman, CEDIA

11. Adaptive Devices

Future home technologies will offer adaptive personalization through machine observability. Multimodal machine learning models will be used by devices in the home, enabling them to learn our needs and adapt their actions. For example, the coffee machine in the kitchen will switch itself on when it “sees” a person with a cup in their hand or if it’s the usual time in the day the resident has coffee. – Gautam Hazari, Sekura.id

12. Central Smart Home Computers

Future homes will have a central smart home computer that processes AI data locally, unlike current devices that rely on cloud processing. This shift addresses consumer trust and privacy concerns, as tasks such as object detection (with cameras) require minimal computing power. The device will host apps for various smart home products, enabling local compute and encryption of data before cloud storage. – Monish Balasundaram, Amazon

13. Personal Concierge Systems

Integrated closed loop automation and AI assistants will become standard in homes. Systems that understand speech, interpret commands and help automate household tasks could provide a centralized control hub. The assistants will gain conversational intelligence, interconnect more smart home devices, drive closed loop automation (enable energy savings and automate household tasks), and become personal concierges. – Aditya Ranjan, Cardinal Robotics

14. Air Quality Monitors And Purifiers

Air pollution is gradually increasing on a global scale, and we are all facing the consequences of changing conditions. I believe that air quality monitoring devices and air purifiers might become essential in most homes, especially in large urban areas. What is an unquestionable standard in space habitats will become a basic feature of smart homes. – Przemek Szleter, DAC.digital

15. Solar Panels

One technology can be easily retrofitted to existing homes (which make up most of the property market) and enable more energy efficiency: solar panels. Newer panels generate more power per square foot in low sunlight, so they can be used anywhere around the world. – Ian Gotts, Elements.cloud

16. Data Monetization Systems

Smart homes are already becoming more common in new markets, especially when it comes to those with data-driven services. As part of decentralized physical infrastructure networks, or DePINs, smart houses will be able to monetize data—for example, the temperature and humidity outside, local noise levels, and more—to earn rewards for their owners while contributing to next-generation services and platforms. – Max Thake, peaq

17. Mesh Networks

I believe the key is going to be integration. We have the pieces of the puzzle already—Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi calling, FaceTime, Apple TV and stereos in multiple rooms. But what is coming is a pervasive mesh network throughout the home, enabling such things as calls that can be moved from a personal device to a screen in any room, music that can follow you wherever you go, and an Alexa or similar device available everywhere. It’s all in pieces now, but it will become seamless. – Jothy Rosenberg, Dover Microsystems

18. All-In-One Security And Safety Monitors

Homes will incorporate all-in-one solutions for secure monitoring. There will be devices that can warn of the potential for fires and detect leaks, mold and environmental changes in the air to improve the health of the home’s occupants. These systems will audit each other and communicate with other houses to predict environmental changes that could begin to affect the community and then spread through the region (and, eventually, the world). – WaiJe Coler, InfoTracer

19. Biometric-Based Access And Locking

One technology I predict we’ll see in most homes in the next five years is biometric-based access and locking. Today, permissions are typically device-based; I gain access to my home or car because of a device I carry. In the future, I will gain access because my biometrics confirm my identity and right to access. – Chris Briggs, Mitek Systems

20. Connected Kitchens

There will be greater connectivity within a home’s kitchen. Grocers and suppliers are motivated to ensure this technology is adopted so they have a better understanding of consumers’ needs based on actual supply usage, not just on what is being purchased. Consumers will also be motivated, as they will be able to better manage their spending. Imagine tying this information into services such as Instacart—an automated solution that could handle your replenishment needs. – Guy Courtin, Tecsys Inc.