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Will your child grow up in a 'Smart Home'?

3 years ago

Jonathan Weinberg writer
Jonathan Weinberg Technology Journalist GB
This week at the CES technology expo in Las Vegas there's been a lot of talk about Smart Homes.
 
Samsung and LG are both investing in automated appliances that can be turned on and off or controlled by your smartphone.
 
Such techno advances are no fad. They’re already underway and within the next few years there won't be a washing machine, fridge, oven or vacuum cleaner that doesn't connect to the internet in some way - allowing owners to interact with them from afar.
 
But what could this mean 20 years down the line within the four walls your children will called their own home.
 
Today's houses and flats are very different to the ones we grew up in as kids. I'm 36 and the pace of change in the past two decades has been frightening enough.
 
But in 2034 let's say, when your youngsters move out, their lives will be so intrinsically linked to an always-on society.
 
A Toyota Hybrid car advert on telly currently shows a couple woken up by a bed that automatically raises to turf them out from under the covers, they wash in front of mirrors that display the latest news and weather and they’re guided through the day by their own virtual concierge.
 
Today’s children are going to inherit a world where technology takes the strain in ways we perhaps can't yet think possible. For better and worse.
 
They'll presumably only have to speak a command for it to happen - who knows, maybe even just think it to bring it a request to life.
 
Amazon's recent PR stunt around deliveries made by drones may feel weird but in 20 years time will anyone need to go to a shop?
 
As 3D printers take off using different materials, they could order a new pair of shoes or a bar of chocolate and have them made in minutes in the living room.
 
Google Glass and self-driving cars too represent a glimpse of a 24/7 connected future.
 
It was once said that an Englishman's home is his castle.
 
But will children born in 2014 be freed by these technological advances or become slaves to them in their very own automated fortresses?
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