Category Archives: Smart(er) Homes

If some cars know to unlock the door when the owner approaches, why do most of our houses still force us to go through an odd greeting ritual involving keys? J.A.R.V.I.S., we’re home!

You Are What You Print: 3D Printing and Food

3D printing is one of those technologies that I am fascinated by but have yet to find a practical day-to-day application for (read: I do not need another flat surface on which to pile and eventually accumulate so much paper that it is disturbingly reminiscent of a hoarder). As I continue to follow the technology, though, one of the applications that really resonates with me is printed foods. While I already consume more than enough processed foods, 2013 has been a pretty big year for movement in this space and I wonder what the remainder of the year (and 2014) will hold.

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Closet Space and EV Chargers: What Will “Move In Ready” Mean in 2020?

What makes for a desirable home? If you watch HGTV, curb appeal, closet space, and modern finishes all seem to matter. Jacob Kastrenakes, writing over at The Verge, highlights an issue that I never really gave thought to in terms of buying or selling a home: the infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles.

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Magic, Delight, and Awe: Design and the Modern Home

When I think of the Harry Potter series, and specifically how the books were brought to life in the movies, I was struck by the spaces were magical enough to inspire delight and awe. While I am a fan of the open spaces and clean lines of modern design, there is something to be said for closed floor plans of old homes and the magic, delight, and awe that they sometimes create. There are plenty of examples of how people are creating cool and magical spaces today but the question I find myself kicking around is, “how might technology be woven into space design to create amazing experiences for the rest of us? ”

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I, Vacuum Cleaner: Thinking about Consumer Robotics

Consumer robotics is a fascinating, and largely accessible, aspect of a smart(er) home. The nice thing about consumer robotic devices is that they take chores that few of us look forward to or cherish and pass them onto machines that (until Skynet becomes self-aware) simply don’t care about losing an hour or two on what we could consider to be a precious weekend afternoon. As it becomes easier to build robotic prototypes, we might see them pop up in more aspects of our life.  Continue reading

Smart Thermostats, Locks, and Home Security

Let’s be honest, for as amazing as Tony Stark’s Malibu mansion is, most of us don’t have the resources to integrate technologies in ways that make our homes smart enough to understand or anticipate our needs in a sophisticated manner. Absent wealth, we rely on ingenuity: home automation components like the ones offered by X10 Wireless Technology  make for a smarter home. Hacking a system together can produce even more amazing results (ref. The Berkeley Ridiculously Automated Dorm). Over the past two years, though, we have begun to see the emergence of offerings that combine modern technology with equally modern styling…though they are as likely to make us think rethink what constitutes home security.  Continue reading