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Cornell Student Articles on Topical Affairs

The technological home revolution

Buying a new home is exciting. Moving into a new house is thrilling. The excitement of getting to unpack one’s belongings into a new space and create a new home is one of the best parts about moving. Whether individuals are moving down the street or taking the leap and moving interstate, a new home offers a chance to start over. Individuals used to flock to see new films about futuristic times where technology reigned in the household. In Ironman, Jervis ran Stark’s household and his company. In I, Robot, Sunny and his fellow robots helped with everything from day-to-day activities like baking and cleaning, to driving their masters around. These movies used to be pinnacles of what the future could bring. Today, they are real possibilities for implementation in the near future, as opposed to the glittering fantasies that they were years ago.

Home technology is all the rage in modern society, and while robots that cook and clean are not yet here, there are many developments and innovations in home technology that are here. From roomba, the robot floor cleaner, to the Google home mini, that answers questions and reminds you where you left your keys, home technology is already changing the game of the modern home, and is set to entirely transform it in the years to come. If moving to a new house now is exciting, just imagine what it will be like when our entire home life is operated and transformed by home technologies and AI. As little as ten years ago, a phone that could answer our questions and hold our entire lives in its coding seemed impossible – today, most of the world’s population has a smart phone of some kind. The idea of controlling one’s home through their mobile phone seemed like an impossibility, and today that is fast becoming a reality. With the implementation of home technologies and the increasing demand for them, there is resulting efficiency, control, and advanced customization. Current predictions expect home technology devices to be staples in the modern home in up to eighty percent of homes in the USA alone, over the next five years.

There have been a great many predictions about the future of smart home technology. Some said that by 2020 we would each have our own personal robot to help around the house. Others said that self-driving cars would be a reality by 2016. Neither of these predictions proved to be true, but they are in the foreseeable future, if the speed and efficiency at which technology is developing and expanding currently is anything to go by. Home technology is one of the sectors that has gained the most traction over the last few years, with continuous and exhilarating innovations being brought into the market every day. The demand is increasing as well as the supply and range, too – 80 million smart home tech devices were delivered around the globe in 2017 alone.

Back in 2007, Scott Westerfeld published a science fiction novel titled “Extras” in which society was based off a fame system. Everyone had a drone or “hovercam” as they are called and it brings to mind whether this could be where our own society might head towards, with influencers crowding the internet and more often than not, making money off their youtube subcribers and instagram followers, down to their blog readers.

Trials are allowing technology companies to interact and respond to clients’ needs, and therefore produce products that cater to those clients’ needs. Even smart fridges are being developed and tested – with the ability to set reminds when groceries are set to expire when the groceries are logged into the system at time of purchase, even once-inanimate kitchen appliances are becoming staples of home technology at its finest point. Home technologies thrive with the intended purpose to not only make users’ lives easier, but more efficient – even more environmentally conscious. Smart home technology can be designed with the environment in mind, such as the LED television. LED screens cut energy use in half, effectively paying for itself over the years. The old plasma screen televisions used a significant amount of energy, overheating easily, with the screen’s brightness fading over time. LED screens operate on a much more energy-efficient basis, making them just one of the many home technologies currently on the market that are good not only for users’ convenience, but the environment as well. It is a well-known fact that appliances that have been in use for years drain electricity faster than anything, but users are not always aware of when their outdated appliances are ineffective – resulting in burning through more electricity than necessary. Home technology is developed at an increasingly speedy rate, and the innovations that today seem life changing (like the Google home mini) will one day soon become the staple in the modern home, the norm in home technology (like the roomba).

Moving into a digitized future is going to prove to be relatively easy, if the home technologies currently available and in development are anything to go by. The evolution of home technology over the years has been exciting, if not dazzling. The old box-shaped televisions have transformed into smart televisions. The standard vacuum cleaner has transitioned into a robot floor cleaning device. Where individuals used to forget their keys, Google home mini now reminds you where you set them down. Home technology is transforming everyday life, and the future of the tech is only going to get brighter, more exciting, and more innovative.


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