Humans we are not known precisely because of our good divination skills, and especially in such complex issues as the evolution of technology, its future use and its impact on our ways of life.
If we also take periods of time relatively broad (several decades), forecasts are blurred in a halo of fiction and desire that often fails to be met or even does so in unexpected ways. In this article we will try to venture some of the technologies, systems and applications to different data networks we provided in our Smart homes in the coming years.
To do this we will draw in projects and investigations that are underway and whose application to our daily lives, it seems only a matter of time.
Imagining a future already exceeded
But before you begin to speak of the future we are going to put us a little nostalgic with the past. How do they imagined to a few decades ago the home of the future? As broadly providing connectivity the time and bulky equipment.
When the Internet was little more than a tale of science fiction that only the dreamers could imagine, to have a TV connected to a computer network It would be something peculiar to the innovative future. Something like send messages through a primitive messaging system based on the fax, which of course we could print to display them correctly.
And, what about the telephone and interpersonal communication? In this field the future King would be the phone with built-in screen (fixed and panel of tube, of course) that would allow us to make video calls to our family and friends.
Of course, the center of all this home of the future would be a supercomputer (probably with some 640 KB of memory, for more?) occupying almost completely one of the rooms of the House and that it would allow us to see the listing of our shares up to even know the weather forecast and even consult a database of maps. All an advancement of science!
Surpassing all expectations: A Hyperconnected home
Households in the nearest future will be the habitat of a swarm of objects and smart sensors able to interact with each other with varying degrees of autonomy. Everything will be connected to the Internet or each other through new protocols like WiFi Direct and receivers that will be able to establish ad-hoc networks interoperable, flexible and adaptable.
These interconnected objects is what has been termed the Internet of things, new paradigm that 2020 is expected to be formed by more than 50,000 million devices and domestic objects that are connected to different networks.
Almost any device, appliance, and object mundane that we buy and bring home will be, whether we like or not, interconnection with networks capabilities. Phones, books, vehicles, light bulbs, home automation systems and security, counters consumption (water, gas, electricity), agendas, video game consoles, audio and video equipment, clothing, decorative, even packages of food and drink, everything will take some type of system (possibly the evolution of technologies such as RFID, NFC and BlueTooth) that provide them connectivity.
These devices will have to add the multiple sensors that they will be installing in all kinds of objects to register different aspects of physical reality, which communicate with the Internet and other networks of either fixed or wireless, using IP protocols (or not), working in many cases independently, without user interaction, and that they will need to transmit their data to smart systems capable of interpreting them and analyze them.
And what are these intelligent systems that interpret the data? There are several candidates. From computers, household always lit through smartphones and smart switchboards up to maybe Humanoids capable of receiving data directly in digital formats and presented to the user through friendly interfaces.
Fiber optic and LiFi everywhere
All this swarm of objects communicating with each other and machines will need new protocols and technologies able to maintain connectivity without saturation problems. This will require the use of mixed solutions that use several ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum at the same time and to come from the hand of the current developments in optical communications, both guided and in free field.
Optical fiber will reach our homes to bring us the connectivity with the outside (FTTH networks and variations of these), but also on the inside, thanks to developments in optical fiber cables, cheap to produce, easy to install and with excellent qualities opposite to the electromagnetic noise.
But also need wireless communications, to be supported in WiFi and a new candidate who in a few years will be common in our homes: the LiFi.
Also known as Optical WLAN or Visible Light Communications (VLC), These visible light communications will manage to transmit information in our homes at high speed with elements of lighting (LED lights) at the same time giving light to a room.
Can also be used for transmit large volumes of data between computers or to multimedia devices. For example suponed that we want to send a video of the phone to a TV quickly or copy it to a network hard drive. It is enough to point the phone to TV or the HDD for a few seconds, as we do now with the remote to change the channel.
And all this without interfering with WiFi networks (because they operate in other frequency range) or with our vision, since modulation will be so fast that it will pass unnoticed to our senses.
A world of physical objects downloads
Every time we spend more time communicating remotely by Telepresence and virtual reality technologies, which in some cases will mean leaving less abroad, or at least delete part of our trips for duties mundane and boring as some kind of shopping.
Here we have another key aspect of the next few years: the downloads of physical objects, It will be a breakthrough whose impact is still difficult to predict.
3D printers that so many times we speak here will evolve and become key devices in our homes of the future. Not only to create small three-dimensional objects as it is currently the case, but for manufacture our own appliances, devices, spare parts, and even food energy panels.
New materials able to constitute the raw material of the objects of the future will be needed to make this possible. Materials such as ‘carbomorph’ and their upcoming developments, which allow you to create elements like tracks of electrical circuits and soon also complex wiring structures and is thinks even already in being able to print small circuits can be connected to a CPU.
I.e. we arrive home, choose a device that we like in any web page and our 3D printer will be able to print it, fully functional. Without saying that the piracy here give a giant step, so the industry must establish new copy protection rules if they don’t want to stay out of the market.
As you can see, there are many possibilities for home of the future in terms of connectivity. A home in which everything will be connected, or almost all, since at the moment we are, human, that we will be starting to become obsolete with such machine and intelligent devices to our around.
We have then? update our senses and nerve structures a new digital interconnected world that lies ahead? It is probably only a matter of time.