People have been prognosticating about the future of domestic life since the end of World War II. This pastime really took off in the 1960s when you couldn’t turn on a TV, pick up a magazine or go to a world’s fair without encountering someone’s vision of “the home of the future”. So what’s the difference between what the futurists of 50 years ago foresaw and the smart home of 2018?
The Home of the Future Circa 1968
Half a century ago the media was awash in predictions about what domestic life would be like in the 21st century. Let’s look at some of the things those predictions got right and some things they got wrong.
Things They Got Right
There were actually a number of predictions made half a century ago that wound up coming true. These include:
- Enormous flat screen TVs
- Elaborate sound systems
- Working from home
- Home computers
- Closed circuit TV
Yeah, those wise guys from 50 years ago actually hit the nail on the head in a number of different ways. Although in every case their predicted tech was aggressively analog. (More on that in a bit.)
Things They Got Wrong
The futurists of a half century ago didn’t hit a home run every time, however. Here are a number of things that were supposed to be part of our everyday life now that never materialized.
- Flying cars
- Step-in electrostatic delinting machines
- Fully automated home meal production
- 30 hour work weeks
- Disposable chairs
The flying car has been theoretically possible for decades. So why were they never made? Insurance liability. As for the other items; the 30 hour work week is pretty funny, as is the notion that people would lose interest in cooking. But what the home of the future missed on entirely was the digital revolution.
The Rise of the Smart Home
The smart home of today actually incorporates some of the advances predicted all those years ago, just not in the shape they were predicted to take. Because every aspect of today’s smart home is driven by something no one 50 years ago saw coming: wireless digital technology. So while we don’t have delinting tubes we do have other things, including:
- Remotely programmable thermostats - One of the centerpieces of the smart home is the thermostat that can be remotely programmed or otherwise operated from anywhere in the world by way of your smartphone. Forgot to turn off the AC before you left for vacation? No problem. Turn it off from the airport using a smartphone app.
- Remote controlled entry - Let’s say your son or daughter forgot their house key. They arrive home and are locked out. In the past they’d have to rely on the kindness of neighbours to stay safe. Today, they call you on their mobile phone, you bring up the front door security camera on your phone, see that they are indeed standing there waiting to get in and send a signal to unlock the door. Toronto electrician Hotwire Electric can help you to get all this feature in your smart home.
The Internet of Things
In short what separates yesterday’s “home of the future” from the smart home of today is a little ditty called the Internet of Things. This is a collection of millions of different devices all capable of being controlled remotely as long as the user has the right app and Internet access. These digital devices are capable of operating independently or in some cases influencing each other. It’s an unprecedented development that is at the heart of today’s smart home. To learn more about creating a real “home of the future” for yourself talk to a qualified smart home electrician today.