In our previous blog post, we explored the beginning of home automation and when it was invented by humans. As we learned, the first instance wasn’t in a physical space, but a creative capacity when Ray Bradbury wrote the short story “There Will Come Soft Rains,” in 1950.
Aside from Bradbury’s short story, the origins of smart houses being physically created are also hard to trace.
One of the first smart houses that we’ve come across is the Push Button Manor that was also created in 1950. This smart home was created by Emil Mathias of Jackson, Michigan. As far as we can determine, this home was the first solid, wall-to-wall and automated home that was created to be lived in.
This home was created by a mechanical whiz who wanted an efficient home that could complete most of its tasks with the push of a button. While some of the uses were impractical, it was one of the first homes that showed the capabilities of the future of the industry.
Some of the features of Push Button Manor included: curtains that could be drawn automatically, a wind-powered coffee grinder, a vanity mirror on a dresser that lit up when it was opened, and a set of clocks that controlled all of these events.
The home wasn’t made via a sponsorship and it was not for sale. It was simply an inventor creating something unique for himself to enjoy.
Monsanto House of the Future
This Disneyland attraction was built in 1957 and was part of Disney’s Tomorrowland exhibit until 1967.
This project was sponsored by a plastic company, so the key element regarding the home is that it was primarily made of plastic. Work surfaces, crockery, and the cupboards and fittings in the home were all plastic. This material in the home made objects fairly light and the home easy to automate.
The Home of the Future was even equipped with an ultrasonic dishwasher that was able to scrub plates after meals. All of the telecommunication in the home were hands free. The shelves in the kitchen disappeared into the ceilings, and a smart sink that could raise up and down based on the height of whoever was using it. This exhibit attracted 425,000 visitors in its first six weeks, and over 20 million during the ten year period it was at the Disney theme park.
Homes of the Future
As we can see in the two examples above—in both physical and creative landscapes—humans have always envisioned what the future will look like, especially regarding the places they live. Microsoft had their own version of the smart home in 1999, and we’ve seen other renditions in exhibits and installations across the country.
The Internet of Things (IoT) technology will continue to allow devices in and out of the home to make modern life efficient, convenient, and oftentimes entertaining, when you use your home security equipment to capture events around the home.
Only the future will tell what is capable to happen in the home, but it’s likely that we can expect AI, virtual reality, and augmented reality technologies to find footing in the home. We’re already seeing devices that can control the home through voice automation.