Do you belong to the group of people who automatically shake their heads just with a mention of living in a futuristic house or apartment? Well, read on and I am sure you will change your mind. One of the hottest trends in home design nowadays is organic and locally sourced furnishing and reduction of energetic consumption. In other words, making your home as nature friendly as possible while using alternative energy sources when available. What if I told you that you can help the planet (and you wallet) by implementing the latest tech gadgets while maintaining you home’s natural and cosy look? Interested? Let’s have a look.
One of the main advantages of hi-tech home gadgets I am going to introduce, is their simple and effective design that will go almost unnoticed and therefore will not collide with whatever interior style you prefer.
Sometimes, a panel with light switches can be a bit overwhelming. We turn on the different lights just to realise it is not the one we wanted. What if we could turn the lights on and off with one simple switch
Designer Taewon Hwang comes through with this impressively intuitive light switch idea. He takes a floor plan of a house and turns it into a switch itself, so that you can control all lights in your house from one point. Cannot you remember if you let the lights on in the bathroom upstairs? No problem. One look at the switch and you are clear. Floorplan switch helps you monitor the lights too, so you will never leave the house with lights on.
WAT LED Lamp
When engineers first started looking for an alternative source of power, they automatically turned to water. Imagine cars driving on water instead of petrol. While pouring water into a car’s tank will do more damage than good. This, however, does not mean that water did not prove as an interesting and ecological source of energy for the future. A french designer, Manon LeBlanc invented and designed a lamp functioning solely on water. How is it possible?
This cordless water lamp needs just a little bit of water and a hydroelectric battery, composed of a carbon stick covered with magnesium powder, to provide an ambient light. The water and the battery combined create a stellar electro chemical reaction that provides enough energy to light up the LED strips.
Light and solar energy are believed to be the power of the future. Solar panels on the roof or in the garden are now old news. What every reusable energy enthusiast has been hoping for are home appliances using solar energy. Given the amount of time we spend vacuum cleaning, watching TV and listening to music, solar energy can dramatically decrease our energy consumption and our ecological footprint.
Sony came up with a portable media player named Eclipse. As you may guess, Eclipse would get majority of its energy from the sun. The device is attached to the window and with aid of outward-facing integrated solar cells it runs itself. When the sun turns around you can easily relocate the player and it will carry on playing. It will stream the music or movies wirelessly. Sony still hasn’t released the player as it needs some more time to tweak its features.
Self-sterilisation Door Handle
One of the first images that come to my mind when someone mentions futuristic houses is the impeccable cleanness and almost sterile interiors. While white shiny surfaces may not flow everyone’s boat, I think I am right wen I say clean and healthy home is our common goal. Aggressive detergents, so amply promoted nowadays, are not always the best option. They are dangerous for maritime animals when flushed down the pipes and for humans too, when a surface is not properly rinsed.
Door handles are big breeding grounds for various bacteria and viruses from where they spread further. Self-sterilising door handle can prevent this from happening. A ray of UV light will switch on as soon as our hand leaves the handle and the handle returns to its former position. Once we push the handle down again, the light switches off. UV light is not dangerous to humans and does not have any residues. It is therefore clean and safe to use and can protect our families from commonly spread illnesses.
Electrolux Eco Cleaner
The question of cleaning and disinfecting interiors without using soil degrading and animal threatening substances is hard to answer. However, a student called Ahi Andy Mohsen found a possible solution. His project of a vacuum dishwasher headed toward the 2010 Electrolux Design Lab Completion which asked designers to design appliances used in future.
Ahi’s solar-powered portable compact dishwasher ionises the food residue on your plates using ultrasonic waves and then transforms the food/grease to reusable compost for plants. So instead flushing litres of soapy water down the pipes you can collect the compost soil after each wash and add it to your flower pots or garden.
1 Limit Faucet
We are using way too much water. That is a fact. Mostly it is because we have no idea how much water we are wasting. Can you guess how many litres of water flows down the faucet in one minute? Are you guessing two or three litres? Shockingly, it is seven. If you leave the tap open the whole time you are brushing your teeth it will round up to more than 21 litres.
Designers Yonggu Do, Dohyung Kim and Sewon Oh therefore came up with an idea based on “you get what you see”. The faucet will fill with exactly one litre of water, which is enough for washing hands and face or rinsing a single glass. Once the lever is closed, fresh water is pumped into the faucet and it is ready to be used again. Seeing the water level dropping will make your washing more efficient.
Staying closer to the nature and choosing natural materials and renewable sources of energy over the fabricated once is definitely the strongest futuristic concept. Using the power of photosynthesis to run different electrical devices is something scientists and engineers are working on at the moment.
Biophotovoltaics’ Moss Table is an innovative furnishing that demonstrates the future potential of Bio-Photo-Voltaic (BPV) technology. The electricity is generated from the electrons captured by conductive fibers inside the moss table. The technology enables us to use the energy that would otherwise be wasted. The ‘Moss Table’ is still in its concept stage, but it can already produce enough electricity to power smaller devices such as digital clocks.
Homes of the future do not necessarily need to resemble spaceships. With the increasing population on Earth there should be something done about the way we use natural resources, recycle and reuse what we have been given. Investing time into technology and into little tips and tweaks that can help us combat our energy dependancy and reuse the energy we have readily available is something we should all focus on. Futuristic homes should all be energetically self sufficient and with a zero carbon print. That is what future of living is about because shiny white worktops are so last century.