Future homes will comprise underground greenhouses and pet-sitting robots, claims study

future homes
Connected underground greenhouses to grow food, robots to look after pets and children, and drones to call people in for meals – these are all predictions for future homes, claim experts.

A new report predicts that click and deliver homes – where houses will be designed from the comfort of your sofa and craned onto site will also become the norm.

Each family member will also be able to personalise artwork and views from windows using smart glasses while workers will see video calls replaced with hologram versions of their colleagues sat next to them.

As well as improvements to home technology and connected living, the report also predicts big changes to food, healthcare and wellbeing – with the likes of smart home ecosystems and tech-enabled care.

Architect Piers Taylor created the Homes of the Future: Connectivity & Communities report with Vodafone, alongside the Royal Institute of Architects’ first Vice President for Research, Flora Samuels and leading tech analyst at CCS Insight, Ben Woods.

Piers Taylor said:

“Overnight, and quicker than any other change in history, we have radically altered what we do in our domestic spaces following the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Looking ahead into the next 20 years, we can expect to see vast differences not only in the way our houses look and feel, but in the way we are connected through our homes, with everything we do being assisted by digital technology.”

The report predicts pet robots will keep our furry friends company by entertaining and even feeding them when owners are not at home.

Drones will also fly around homes to keep an eye on children, pass messages to people and monitor the temperature and air quality.

Light switches will become a thing of the past as fixtures, furniture, lighting and heating will automatically and intelligently adapt to the household’s preferences.

Tech-enabled care will also see sensors in the floor notify carers if someone has taken a fall.

It comes after research commissioned by Vodafone of 1,000 homeowners and 1,000 renters saw four in 10 claim lockdown changed their housing requirements, with 48 per cent wanting more outdoor space.

Another 21 per cent are frustrated by a lack of space indoors and 68 per cent feel it is important to use all corners of their home.

Almost nine in 10 (85 per cent) Brits also said that strong broadband in all corners of their home is crucial, with connectivity set to become an important factor in the future of homes.

This could also see home broadband speeds increasing up to 10 gigabits per second in the next 20 years.

The research also revealed 11 per cent have regretted making what they thought would be an improvement to their home, according to the OnePoll figures.

Of these, 40 per cent built an extension they later realised was a waste of money, and 41 per cent regretted knocking down a wall to create an open-plan space.

Max Taylor, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK added: “The pandemic has changed the way we use our homes and will have a lasting impact.

“And the biggest changes will be powered by connectivity, making spaces more flexible, more energy-efficient, and giving us new ways of working from home.

“Reliable broadband is already essential today, and will be the key to the homes of the future.”

The Vodafone Homes of the Future: Connectivity & Communities report was commissioned to mark the launch of Vodafone’s Pro Broadband package. You can download it here: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk/press-release/future-homes-2041/

THE FUTURE OF HOMES:

Pet-caring robots: Robots will play a part in keeping furry friends company, with the ability to entertain, feed and provide companionship when owners are not at home.

Drones: Drones will be an ever-present helper for us – able to pass messages to others (telling children that dinner is ready), and monitor the temperature and air quality throughout the whole house to ensure a healthy, comfortable and energy efficient environment.

Personalised surroundings: Each family member will be able to personalise artwork and windows in the home into different worlds that they see-through smart glasses.

No more light switches: Fixtures, furniture, lighting and heating will all automatically and intelligently adapt to the household’s preferences.

Home-working: Meetings will be revolutionised from the video calls of today as home workers are able to collaborate with colleagues who are projected as holograms onto virtual seats, from anywhere in the world.

Underground greenhouses: Smart tech will be used to keep plants healthy in the dark, allowing for food to be grown underground to maximise space.

Smart home ecosystems: Voice-operated virtual assistants will keep us healthy and efficient, tracking the food we buy, and correlating with health measurement data from linked fitness tech.

Tech-enabled care: Heat sensors in the floor to notify carers if a person has taken a fall, as well as movement detectors and reminders to take medication.

Click-and-deliver homes: Building homes will be like real-life SimCity, with designs being made online and ordered from the comfort of sofas and craned into sites.

Community dashboards: Data from smart-home tech will feed into ‘data dashboards’ for homes meaning decision makers can plan for a better future for the community.

Chris Price