My husband Jon and some of his colleagues who are involved with the Digital Convergence Initiative created an installation about the Do It Yourself (DIY) Home of the Future for Maker Faire Austin. A regular columnist at Worldchanging.com, Jon contributed a column explaining the DIY Home’s characteristic, as conceptualized by futurist Derek Woodgate:
- Immersive. The home of the future is a platform for both ambient and focused converged media. According to Derek, the key elements are “seamless , multi-sensory engagement and the opportunity to share, collaborate, connect, explore and grow. Immersive environments, use augmented reality to take such experiences to new highs, by enabling the user to extend the “Self” and his /her personal potential. It allows us to achieve deeper understanding of our sub- and unconscious through emotional and cognitive interfaces to reach what we call the “Sense Event” – a harmony of our sensory energy with total engagement.”
- Responsive. One possible future is personified in SARAH (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat), the smart house of the future on the SciFi Channel’s “Eureka.” SARAH is a responsive home – in fact, she’s quirky, and she talks back… but she’s also aligned with Derek’s vision of the responsive home as “one in which the living space is sensitive to one’s needs, personalized to the user’s requirements, anticipatory of the behavior and responsive to the person’s presence, in order to improve one’s quality of life, overall.” It “leverages ambient intelligence and socially- and context-aware smart sensors in order to optimize and augment the living conditions and environment.”
- Reconfigurable. The reconfigurable home “consists of walls and devices that respond to sound, light, touch, footsteps, smell, phone calls, mp3 players and even distant remotely connected spaces. Both the physical and the ambient elements can be changed by means of sensor and actuator systems, spatial robots, LEDs, sound and other integrated networks…. New architectural experiments are investigating how one might construct an interactive environment that builds up an internal representation of its occupants through a network of autonomous but communicative sensors, so that the home may better represent the user’s emotional, physical and cognitive state.”
The photo above is a shot of the Flogiston Chair and wraparound screen, which represents an aspect of the immersive home environment.