The Legend of the »SMART HOME« – and why we still don’t quite believe in it.
In the Future Evolution House we naturally think about technology and test new digital devices all the time. However, if we look at the graveyard of electronic devices in our cellar, we wonder which house technology really lives up to the name »smart«.
In order to evaluate all these new technological wonders, we have developed several criteria:
- Praktische Smartness:
Wie einfach ist eine Technologie zu implementieren und zu bedienen, wie hoch ist der Programmierungs- und Wartungsaufwand?
- Practical Smartness:
How easy is it to install the technology and use it? How much time and money needs to be invested in programming, service and maintenance?
Does the technology offer real advantages? What are the advantages and are they long term?
Some technology takes away the very human activity that we need for good life quality. An automatic cooking machine for example would remove the joy of cooking. Apparent comfortability can have a negative effect as it can decrease human abilities.
- Design with soul:
We look for beauty, elegance, good materials and surfaces. Cheap and nasty looking plastic makes us unhappy.
A lot of what is sold under the premise of »SMART HOME TECH« has just not been well thought through. It is often badly designed or simply redundant. A BUS system can be useful but does every function really need to be determined by one device? Voice activated systems disturb natural rhythms and means of communication.
There are however some technical devices we love just because they are so simple and easy to use and understand.
Quooker is a small, simple but brilliant product that ticks all the boxes for being part of a future house. It saves energy, makes life easier, and you can throw a bulky appliance (the kettle) away. The Quooker delivers boiling water on tap (literally), and as a British 3 litres-of-tea-a-day drinker, this is one of my favourite future house innovations.
- Stihl electric tools for the garden
We have two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for four devices: A lawnmower, chain saw, hedge clippers and an edge-cutter. They are not quite as powerful as a petrol motor, but there is no horrible smell, no oil, no CO2 produced, and much less noise. We can mow over 2000 m2 of garden with two batteries full.
A smart glass that changes from opaque to transparent at the touch of a switch separates (or unites) the »kin« part of the house from the »hub«.
We have a subscription to the Dutch jeans brand MUD: Ethically and organically produced, we lease our jeans for 8 € per month. When we are bored of them or they are worn out we can simply send them back and they are recycled or resold as pre-loved.