While the promise of flying cars is long overdue, the home of tomorrow has begun to arrive early. From robotic maids to lush, self-sustaining gardens and a universe of wireless music, many of the features of tomorrow’s home are available today. If you could use a little of the cutting edge in your home, these seven gadgets will not disappoint.
Leap Motion Gesture Controller
If you remember the futuristic, gesture-controlled computer Tom Cruise used in the film Minority Report, you’ll want to pay attention to this. The Leap Motion Gesture Controller provides motion control of various software environments and apps on your PC or Mac. Think of it like a Microsoft Kinect without the XBox, providing an open control system that isn’t mated to a video game console. Want to flip through the weather while you’re preparing breakfast? With just a wave of the hand (or even just a finger), you’re scrolling through the details of the day. Want to explore a satellite map with hands-on control? You’ve got it. Leap Motion is an exciting and affordable hardware system that feels like technology of the future, but it’s available today.
Leap Motion Gesture Controller | Gallery
Nest Smart Thermostat
The home of tomorrow has a smart thermostat, and the most accessible option today is the Nest Smart Thermostat. This friendly little device gets to know your family usage cycles — when you’re at home, when you’re at work, when you’re asleep — and adjusts the temperature of your home accordingly. By turning off unnecessary heating and cooling when you are away or asleep, Nest can save your family hundreds of dollars on heating/cooling costs every year. With a $249 price tag, it’s designed to pay for itself within the first year of use. It’s an exciting little invention from the creator of the iPod, and it’s available today.
Nest Smart Thermostat | Gallery
Netatmo Personal Weather Station
Despite the prevalence of readily-available digital information, we’re still relying on old-world sources for weather information. Most online weather services provide weather snapshots based on a handful of sensors that may be many miles from your home. Alternatively, the Netatmo Personal Weather Station provides the necessary hardware to determine the weather around your local environment, your home. This design-friendly little object can gather local weather information and deliver it directly to your mobile device or local wireless network. Wherever you are, you can get a sense of the exact weather at your home, not an estimate based on information collected many miles away.
Netatmo Personal Weather Station | Gallery
Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speakers
In the future, you’ll have all the world’s music at your beck and call, playable in high fidelity throughout your home without wires. But why wait? The technology of tomorrow is available today in very high fashion in the Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speakers. The Sonos Play:1 system connects to your home wireless network to access any song in your library, your favorite web radio app or otherwise. It’s features a pair of powered amplifiers, providing a big step up from the battery-powered bluetooth options, and a speaker/tweeter combo that provide thumping bass, broad mid-tones and crisp treble. Even better, the Play:1 is a modular system. In time, you can add more units to provide a wider coverage area in your home, your office or elsewhere. In short, it’s a powered, high-fidelity system that can access your full library of music and a whole lot more, all by accessing your home wireless network. It sure doesn’t hurt that it looks so good in the process…
Logitech Alert Video Security
The security systems of old required monthly service fees or useless alarms that were mostly false positives. Today, you can install your own and monitor it from your mobile device from a web connection, virtually anywhere. The Logitech Alert 750n is a powerful little home security monitor, a modular camera system that features wide angle viewing in both day and night. You can set up any number of the 750n camera units in strategic locations, and they’ll record video to your computer and stream it to your mobile device on-the-go. The night-vision options allows 50′ of dark viewing for disturbances that occur at night. The motion tracking will alert you when something enters the camera’s view, allowing you to immediately see what is going on at home.
iRobot Braava Robot Mop
The Roomba is a well-known staple of many modern homes, but options for carpet-free living are tough to find. The makers of Roomba now also offer a tile and hardwood alternative, the iRobot Braava Robot Mop. Pet hair, dust and dirt won’t last in the home of the future with this one around. Just charge it, set it to run and forget it. It’ll quietly do the job just like its Roomba counterpart.
iRobot Braava Robot Mop | Gallery
Windowfarms Vertical Hydroponic Garden
If the statistics are right, the home of the future will be increasingly urbanized, with people adopting smaller spaces in dense environments for low-impact, highly-social living. Without a yard to yourself, you can still garden with a bit of future technology. The Windowfarms Vertical Hydroponic Garden occupy window space to grow herbs and vegetables in a vertical system. Windowfarms are hyroponic in design, meaning they don’t use soil, but nutrient rich water that feeds the dangling roots directly. It’s an efficient, highly productive method of gardening that is increasingly common in commercial farms, but this invention brings it home to you. Best of all, Windowfarms might be a technology of the future, but they’re already for sale today.