In the future we will have relationships with our homes


Today I was interviewed on The Daily Edition about the homes of the future.

Click on the image to watch a video of the segment.


The future of homes is a very rich topic that goes far beyond the usual chatter about internet-enabled refrigerators and integrated entertainment, and we weren’t able to cover much in a TV panel format.

However the main point that I made is that in the future we will have a very real relationship with our homes. Now homes are somewhere that we reside, and while we can shape them to our personalities, it is not currently a two-way relationship.

As we move forward, our relationship with our homes will comprise many elements.

The discussion of the recent acquisition by Google of home automation company Nest rightly focused on how Nest tracks and identifies the behavior patterns of house’s residents.

Homes being able to understand us and what we do enables them to respond to us. In the Daily Edition segment today they linked Google’s acquisition of Nest with its more recent purchase of artificial intelligence company DeepMind, quoting an AP article suggesting that “The acquisitions raise the prospect that Google may be looking to develop artificially intelligent robots for the home.”

At the same time as our homes are absorbing what we do through the day, they will also be learning to respond to us in a myriad of ways, including voice, gesture, eye-gaze, emotion, and even thought control. We will have great power, able to change our environment at our will.

If we overlay the rapidly increasing richness of our interfaces with our homes with their increasing ability to intuit and give us what we want, we are truly in the realm of relationships.

We are still some way from falling in love with our houses, as the protagonist in the movie Her does with his computer’s operating system. But we are definitely about to build rich, fruitful, two-way relationships with the homes in which we live.

  • Simon Spencer

    I think that there is another hypothesis that may be worth exploring, namely how the AirBnB concept applies to GenY and Gen Z and the potential for a major shift in the long standing expectation of home ownership and indenturing ones self to a bank and a single fixed asset (house). If it is just too hard to buy a cool inner city dwelling, and your work is far more mobile then why not timeshare or ‘AirBnB’ style a Series of houses as an ongoing way of living? Will these shared houses peraonalize themselves for their occupants like some hotel chains are already doing?

    • Interesting. There could be a real trend, but there is a very long way to go in shifting cultural attitudes. Compare home ownership rates in Australia with, for example, Germany and Switzerland…

      • Simon Spencer

        Like ‘driverless’ cars that will ultimately change the model. For car insurance ‘driverless’ houses where the asset is owned and used by many also alters the model. Just food for thought that came from some conversations I have been having. Cheers.

  • TheMashupFactory

    Internet of things will definitely make this possible