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7 things I’ll need for my house in 2025

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 7:47am
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

I can’t wait to live in GE’s home of the future.

 (Last week, I talked about the car I must have, so it seems fitting that my next topic be about my dream house. As with the car, this is assuming an unlimited budget and available technology.)

Last week, I headed to Allentown, PA to the Da Vinci Science Center in order to see an exhibit called Home 2025.

For the 2025 house, engineers from General Electric (GE)—who have been showing off bits and pieces of the smart technology in the home for a while—designed what they thought would be the greatest available technology in just over a decade. They designed with a few different audiences in mind, including a young couple who just bought a condo and were just starting out and an older father-daughter combo who helped address some concerns about aging populations.

See: Photos of the Day: GE's home of the future

The engineers focused specifically on “pain points” for most people. This included cooking, shopping, laundry, and a few technologies designed with at home medical care in mind.

So, without further ado, here’s the list of the must-haves for a home in 2025

 

  1. Laundry podLazy laundry machine

GE found that people basically hated doing laundry. They hated the process of washing and moving the laundry to the dryer and then folding them as well. (I’m with People on this one. It stinks.) For the 2025 house, they designed a washing machine that basically does all the work for you.

First, load your laundry into the machine, which reads the RFID tags in your clothes to figure out care instructions. Everything is washed and dried according to those directions and then the clothing is compressed into little pellets and stored in the machine, which keeps a catalogue of the items to be dispensed at your personal wearing whim.

Why I need it: Doing laundry in an apartment building is a huge pain, so I’m a little biased towards this one. Frankly, if I was able to have any laundry actually in my apartment, I’d be a happy camper. But, alas, this is a dream so I might as well go with the fanciest option available.

Virtual closet2. Virtual Closet
The virtual closet is really more of an add-on to the laundry. As a mentioned, after the clothing is compressed, the machine keeps a running record of available items. A screen on the front of the washer becomes your personal virtual closet. It displays all the clothes and will help you pick out a matching outfit that’s appropriate for the weather. Once you pick out an outfit, the machine decompresses it and it’s ready to go.  

Why I need it: I just love the idea of always having all your clothes at your fingertips and totally eliminating the need for a massive closet. The bonus here is when you travel, you can just take the little pellets with you in order to save room. They didn’t mention anything about decompressing the clothes once you get wherever you’re going, but that’s a problem for a different day.  

Ice faucet3. Ice faucet
This one is pretty cool because not only did they improve upon the faucet, the designers decided to make a regular appliance into a way to improve health. First, the faucet uses an electronic pulse to turn carbonated water into ice, so ice is available directly from the faucet. There are also a few cartridges attached that allow you to dispense carbonated water, vitamins or another beverage. Secondly, the faucet contains a hydration sensor that tracks your personal hydration levels.

 Why I need this: I’m constantly pretty dehydrated, so it would be great to have a reminder. Also, I put ice in everything.

4. Grocery Delivery
One of the cool things about most of these designs was that the designers didn’t reinvent the wheel. The used the idea of a traditional milkman to deal with the dreaded grocery shopping. Basically, your refrigerator would track (via barcode) what food you have available. You then have the option of ordering whatever food (or various sundries) you need. The grocery delivery service would be able to access your fridge from the outside, and would just leave your order in the unit for you.

 Why I need this: This is pretty simple. I am lazy. I would like food delivered to my house when I am not home.  

5. Appliances of the future

Obviously, kitchen appliances were a big focus here. The engineers made all the appliances smaller, more efficient and more technologically advanced. For example, the fridge becomes your storage for all foods regardless of what temperature they should be in. Each shelf can be set to a separate “zone” that is completely independent of any other zone. That means you can put cookies on one shelf and frozen meat on another and both will be fine. This kitchen also includes an herb garden, compost drawer, and a few different surfaces that make your kitchen space more efficient.

Why I need this: One of the counters has sensors that can detect when food has bacteria on it, which really appeals to the germaphobe in me. There is also an option to video in your friends or a professional chef and pick up a few new skills.

 Personal bee hive6. Personal Bee hive
This is part of the kitchen, but I wanted to call special attention to this. It’s something you could have in your home that would allow you to have (very) locally-sourced honey. Studies show that consuming honey from your local area might reduce allergies, so this also factors into the health idea.

Why I need this: I have zero actual reason to want this. I don’t even like honey. It’s just really cool.

7. Medicine dispenser

The medical dispenser was really designed for the aging population. First, you put your hand on the mirror and the machine looks at vital signs and decides how much medication is needed for that particular day. It prepares that amount and dispenses it in liquid form.

This is great for two reasons. One, it makes it way easier to take daily medications. Two, it actually pays attention to subtle vital changes that might affect the amount of medication that is necessary.

Why I need this: This is just a good idea in general. With the baby boomer generation starting to advance in age, at home medical care is going to be critical.

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