The Home of the Future Will Have a Personality

“Home Sweet Home” is going to need some new adjectives.

As I mentioned earlier, last month I spoke at CEDIA Future Home Experience--a conference for companies that design and install whole-house audio-video systems, as well as home security and home automation.

I made some predictions, and I also did a little experiment with my audience.

First, a few predictions:

--The home of the future will have facial recognition--it will know who is in the house, and recognize people as they approach the front door.  When you walk into your living room, the lights, climate control and music will adjust to your preferences.   

--Video screens will be so inexpensive they can be built into any object or appliance.  The refrigerator door, for example, may become a true “home page”--a big video screen that shows everything from the household calendar and messages--Don’t eat the cake, it’s for company!-- to the kids’ artwork and even real-time fitness updates for dieters.  

--All of this will be managed with voice commands--”House, turn off the outdoor lights at 11 tonight.”  “House, start the air conditioner tonight when I'm five miles from home.”  “House, activate the security system.”  “House, have the children come home yet?”

Thus the house of the future, controlled through voice commands, is inevitably going to have a personality.  Look at something as simple as the voice of Siri on today's iPhone; with the right questions, she’ll tell sly jokes or kid around a bit.  

Hence my experiment.  I asked the audience--over a thousand of the people who will create these houses--what kind of emotional experience the house of the future will create.   They texted in their ideas throughout the speech, building the “word cloud” shown above.  

“Sweet” doesn't appear once.  But warmth, calm, relaxation, and delight all figure prominently.  My favorite contribution, however, was that the home of the future will need a heart.