Technology is becoming an increasingly important part of interior design, as architects and designers tailor their visions to incorporate the very latest innovations in lighting, engineering and mobile technology. As visually compelling as it is practical and useful, futuristic home design is smarter, sleeker and easier to use than ever before.
One prime example of how technology can be employed for both environmental and aesthetic purposes is Stack's Alba light bulb, promoted as the world's first responsive light bulb. Not only is it motion-sensitive, which means it can turn itself off when no-one is present to conserve energy, but it can also cast a cool or warm light as needed, varying the intensity of its illumination to suit the time of day and situation. The result is a system that unfailingly casts the ideal ambience and saves you money at the same time – all from simply screwing in a light bulb.
Sleeping under the stars
Families with children may wish to push the futuristic theme even further and use a magical 3D system to recreate the night sky on the ceiling of a bedroom. A phosphorescent pigment absorbs sunlight during the day, them emits a glowing light at night. The design can even be personalised to mimic a favourite constellation.
Although the 'egg' chair has been a familiar design concept since the 1950s, more recent innovations have taken the same ergonomic principles and applied them to the bathroom. Alexander Zhukovsky’s transparent ‘Bathsphere’ pod makes a particularly bold visual statement. This temperature controlled bath and shower is suspended from the ceiling and aims to make the user feel weightless, with a handrail around the interior circumference and a showerhead in the centre. However, it's so futuristic that it’s currently still in development.
Never lose your keys again
If that sounds a little too drastic, there are other home design ideas that focus purely on practicality and convenience – like Lockitron, a system that connects your home’s locks to your smartphone. The product fits over your old lock, and unlocks your doors via Bluetooth, solving the age-old problem of lost keys. It’s particularly useful for frequent travellers, as access to the lock can be shared with other phones, enabling friends and neighbours to keep an eye on your property. The interconnectivity of products like Lockitron gives the automated devices industry its informal name: ‘the internet of things’. These diverse automated devices are able to work together throughout your home, controlled through your smartphone or tablet, and it’s estimated that there will be around fifty billion devices of this kind by the year 2020.
Save your energy
One device that's already appearing in homes around the world comes courtesy of Nest, a company founded by one of the lead designers of the iPhone. Their sleek ‘learning thermostat’ can be remotely adjusted using your phone, saving energy and money while preventing anyone from having to return to a cold house. The company has also designed smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, which can identify the location of any problems and notify you even when you’re not in the house.
To search for properties that make full use of fantastic futuristic home design ideas like these, just visit Engel & Völkers online, or visit one of our many international shops.