Inside your ‘home of the future’ with solar panel windows and smart toilets – and it could SAVE you money
HOUSES of the future will look very different to the ones previous generations grew up in – and hi-tech gadgets are to thank.
Humanity is just a few breakthroughs away from transforming the key parts of the home into sci-fi wonders that improve our everyday lives.
Solar window panes
Solar window panes are an excellent way to turn a common household feature into a way to capture energy.
A traditional, non-transparent silicon solar panel will convert about 20% of the light that hits it to energy.
Recently however, a team of engineers claimed that a new type of solar window pane could manage an impressive rate of 15%.
While the energy conversion is lower, the most efficient solar glass technology now allows for 20% of visible light to pass through it to illuminate a room – versus the 0% of a regular solar panel.
There are scores of real-world applications for transparent glass that makes energy.
Though solar glass isn’t very popular yet, businesses think it could be a huge renewables opportunity – and could make running your home cheaper.
Power Technology reported that the number of photovoltaic glass patents has gone up by 200% in the last 10 years.
Many homes have already been souped-up with digital assistants like Alexa handling mundane verbal tasks and managing Amazon orders.
For physical tasks, the Roomba is a neat, little vacuum that cleans the floors that people grow attached to, like a robotic pet – more advanced robots have been deployed in hospitals to undertake similar maintenance-adjacent tasks like lifting heavy loads.
German engineers developed a classy, humanoid robot that can take orders and make drinks while its artificial intelligence-powered mind develops.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk says his Optimus bot will undertake dangerous or boring tasks and will one day have a greater impact than Tesla.
“Those who are insightful or looking, listening carefully will understand that Optimus will ultimately be worth more than the car business, worth more than [full self-driving]” Musk said.
All signs point toward a robot-infused home where families can focus on being human and robots can handle mindless tasks.
Biometric locking technology is making the leap from sci-fi to the real world and some renditions are already available.
Many brands have produced finger-print-enabled locking technologies that can be installed around the home or even on the front door – even Samsung is in on the action with a $399.99 fingerprint and number lock.
An iris scanner is considerably more costly with Digital Trends‘ top recommended product coming in at $989.
To find a growing tech trend, follow the money – the smart locket market is valued at about $3billion and is expected to grow to $8billion by 2026.
From pit to outhouse to modern systems, each upgrade to bathroom technology has been drastic.
But, like the pin-and-tumbler lock, the toilet has gone relatively unchanged for decades.
There are smart toilets that will autonomously lift the lid or warm the seat – but there is a genuinely smart toilet working its way to market that could lengthen the user’s life.
Engineers at Stanford developed a toilet that runs urinalysis tests and evaluates stool samples – the toilet measures 10 different biomarkers in total to check if the user is in good health, or if they are indeed sick, it’s caught early.
“Everyone uses the bathroom – there’s really no avoiding it – and that enhances its value as a disease-detecting device,” Sanjiv Gambhir of Stanford Medicine said.
Houses have functioned just fine without these products.
But, these flashy additions could make a house that works for its occupants as opposed to just four walls and a roof.
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