What’s in store for the future of the home?
Over time, homes have evolved with changes in lifestyle and technology, as devices like the refrigerator, microwave, and television have become ubiquitous. Today the connected home is powered by software, WiFi networks, and voice-activated assistants. But what does the future hold, and what will our homes look like in the year 2025 and beyond?
David Eun, president of Samsung NEXT and chief innovation officer at Samsung Electronics, painted a picture of what the next generation of homes might be capable of during his keynote speech at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.
“In the future, connected devices will help us become more aware of what’s inside and outside our homes,” David predicted. “For example, smart cameras now let us see who’s at the door whether we’re home or not, and we can control things like turning any light on or off when we’re away.”
We’re in the midst of what he sees as the next major paradigm shift of technology in our homes, where the emergence of 5G wireless networks will enable more connectivity, interaction, and experiences to take root in the home than was previously possible.
“By connecting devices to the internet, we’ve built a great technological foundation,” David said. “This foundation prepares us for the third phase of innovation in the home: Experiences.”
Experiences made possible by connectivity
By the end of 2020, there will be about 30 billion devices are connected to the internet. What’s more, he noted, there will be an estimated 8 billion devices with digital voice assistants in use by 2023, as voice-enabled devices provide a foundation for the house of the future.
“A 20-year study conducted at Cornell University concluded that happiness derived from experiences is more enduring than happiness gain from buying things,” David said. “People want experiences they can remember and share with others. They’ll want their home devices to be creators and enablers of these experiences.”
The experience revolution is already mature in many areas of our lives, from attending live events to streaming workout routines from the gym. As technology will enable consumers to bring experiences into the home, that same phenomenon will be the centerpiece of tomorrow’s smart home.
“I see a blueprint for a home of the future where rooms are re-imagined and the boundaries between the inside and the outside world come together,” he said. David believes that the homes of the future will go even further than enabling experiences like family cookouts and watching sporting events. Connected technology in the home will actually be a pivotal aspect of people leading better, healthier lives.
The promise of connected devices
Connected devices are about to change everything. For example, kitchen appliances won’t simply be appliances that store, cook, and keep food fresh. Although some appliances like stoves and refrigerators are already connected in some form or fashion, David noted that by 2025 those devices will be much more useful and intelligent.
“Appliances will become your nutritionist, personal chef, and shopping assistant,” he said. “Your pantry and refrigerator will know what foods you have on hand, begin to understand your favorite snacks, and the go-to ingredients that suit your dietary needs. Think of your fridge as your very own personalized food DJ. And by that I mean ‘Dish Jockey.'”
Bathrooms are evolving, too. In the future, they’ll look and function more like a personalized health and wellness center. Smart mirrors will be able to do things like analyze vital signs or detect health abnormalities as you shower, or help brush your teeth and alert your doctor in real-time if there’s a serious problem.
“It’ll give you and your doctor an in-depth look at your overall health, rather than just one checkup a year or only going when there’s something wrong,” he said. “Your wellness center will provide continuous healthcare monitoring – using powerful AI to process data – enabling early detection of potential health issues.”
He also envisions a scenario in which home entertainment becomes more immersive and connected than ever. “This isn’t just a living room,” David said. “It will be your window to the world, allowing you to instantly connect with your loved ones and friends as if they were in the same room. It’ll become a place that brings the world to you, as the speakers, lights, and display work together to bring the room to life.”
Tomorrow’s smart home, he believes, promises to help us lead lives that are happier and more well-connected to our loved ones, no matter where they are in the world.
A peek into the kitchen of tomorrow
David’s predictions are much more than conjecture. Much of his work with Samsung NEXT centers around enabling technologies and startups that are on the bleeding edge of tomorrow’s smart home.
“We recently acquired UK-based Whisk, which has built a smart food platform connecting food publishers, retailers and consumers around the world,” said David. “Machine learning analyzes how users discover and interact with recipes and ingredients, helping to provide personalized recommendations.”
Whisk hopes to use AI to transform the kitchen. “Imagine the opportunity to harness the food ecosystem intelligently through your smart kitchen to help you shop, eat fresher ingredients, and even minimize food waste,” he said.
Whisk is just one real-world example of how technology will influence what we think of as a home in the upcoming years. David concluded by noting that the vision for the future that he outlined at Web Summit is just a rough sketch of things to come.
“There is a real opportunity here for entrepreneurs, startups, companies of all shapes and sizes to create these future home experiences and services together,” he told the crowd at Web Summit. “Let’s build on this blueprint of the future together and we can turn every house into a truly smart home, one filled with amazing experiences.”