Last Updated Nov 30, 2016 · Written by Rob Schneider
We recently reported on six affordable technologies that are available today. They included things like smart lights, smart fridges and other "smart" technologies. While these things are available today, that's only the beginning. What's next in technology and automation? You might be amazed by what's just around the corner.
We might as well start with one of the most amazing new technologies. A British electronics company, Moley Robotics, has invented a robotic home chef. No, you don't need to wait another 20 years for it. The company expects to release the robotic home chef in 2017.
(caption: a robotic hand)
According to Moley Robotics, the home chef has two hands that can perfectly mimic the movements of human hands. They are built into an oven and hob. When not in use, the hands retract and you can use the hob and oven to cook the soon-to-be old fashioned way.
The robotic chef learns to cook by mimicking the movements of professional chefs. So far, there are already 2000 recipes available and the list will probably grow in the future. You can control the chef using a touch screen display or even a smartphone app. Of course, it won't be affordable for everyone, but like so much modern technology, it is bound to come down in price in the future.
You might wonder why you would need a smart toilet. Well, smart toilets of the future will be able to analyse urine and tell you if you have diabetes or are in danger of of diabetes. In the not too distant future, they will be able to analyse both urine and stool samples and alert you to any diseases that may be lurking.
While having a toilet that doubles as a doctor is one benefit of owning a smart toilet, it will have other, more mundane benefits as well:
Automated deodorising will be standard
You'll appreciate having a heated toilet seat on a cold winter morning
The automated flushing system will help save water
You will be able to listen to your choice of music using a touchscreen display
Your feet won't get cold thanks to an automated foot warmer
The smart toilet is not a futuristic concept. They exist today and are becoming popular in Japan. It won't be long before you trade in your manual toilet for a smart toilet.
Smart appliances are already a reality, but they're destined to become even smarter. In the near future, they will become smart enough to know what temperature to cook your meals and when to turn the oven, cooktop or microwave on and off.
Many smart appliances can already be remotely turned on using a smartphone app. As the technology improves, you will be able to do more than tell your appliances to turn off and on. You will be able to control them more easily than you can control them manually.
Smart fridges of the future will be able to tell you when you should replace the foods you store in your fridge. Using an app, you'll be able to find out how much milk or butter is in the fridge. The app can even tell you if it's time to cook the fish you bought before it spoils. You'll love having the app when you're out shopping and wonder if you need to buy milk.
We already have smart vacuum cleaners that we can set and forget. A robot is in development that will be able to vacuum your floor, pick up items and tidy up your home. When it is finished, it will even be able to mix and serve cocktails to you and your guests. It will have an integrated touchscreen, but will also respond to voice commands and even hand gestures.
Home automation systems have been with us for quite awhile now. They've come down in price, too. Now almost any homeowner can start automating their home. You can start small and add on or automate your entire home.
The internet was responsible for cheaper and more convenient home automation. It was just a matter of time before home automation systems were updated to include more features and easier to use interfaces. Today, you can control virtually anything in your home, even from a distance:
Forget to lock your door? Do it from your office.
Want to turn on the lights? It's easy with an app and you can also dim the lights.
Open and close curtains with an app.
Open or close windows with a smartphone app.
Adjust the temperature inside the home.
Cook something at just the right temperature for the perfect amount of time with a touch of a button.
Of course, you need to own smart "things" to be able to run your "command and control" app or touchscreen display, but the list of things that can be added to a home automation system is growing every day.
We live in an era where energy efficiency is important to all of us. New technologies can help us have more energy efficient homes. An American company, Powerhouse Dynamics, has come up with an ingenious device that let's you understand and control your energy use.
SiteSage monitors your energy usage and tells you when you've overused energy in your home. It can even monitor individual appliances. Is something turned on when it shouldn't be? Is one of your appliances wasting energy? Are you using your heater or air conditioner as wisely as you could? According to the company, residential users have reported energy savings of up to 30 percent using SiteSage.
In the past, we had just a few channels we could watch. Then cable TV came along and we had a choice of dozens of channels. The problem was the cable TV was expensive and we usually only watched a few select channels.
The internet brought us streaming videos, but at first, we could only watch them on our computers. Today's TVs allow us to watch streaming videos on our bigger TV screens. Not everyone has high speed internet, but internet connections are improving every year. It's just a matter of time before streaming video will replace cable TV.
Using services such as Netflix and future services, we'll be able to watch virtually anything on our TVs. Increased competition will make streaming or downloading movies cheaper and faster. We'll also be able to listen to music and watch our favourite musicians perform on stage. The technology is already here, but it's destined to improve and become standard.
These are technologies that are available today or are just around the corner. Who knows what will come next? One thing we can be sure of is that smart technology is here now and is improving every day.