Futurism is creeping into our home and the possibilities opened up by our increasingly interconnected world are most starkly demonstrated by the rise of smart devices and home hubs. We can now control our lighting, set kettles to boil, and monitor home security systems from anywhere using our smartphones. Until now, these innovations have only had a minimal impact on how our furniture is designed and marketed, but this too looks set to change. Now that an increasing number of smartphones support wireless charging technology, there is now furniture available, such as bedside lamps and drawers, with a wireless charging pad built in. Malleable electronics that can be woven into fabrics are also available and as screens themselves become flexible, there are various designs for futuristic furniture, some in the conceptual stage, some as prototypes, and others still finally hitting the consumer market.

 

Z. Island

Z. Island is the brainchild of renowned Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid. It currently exists as a prototype. It is a kitchen unit with a built-in multimedia centre and touchscreen panel. It also has built-in heating and even a scent dispenser. With a built in flat screen TV and Apple Mac Mini, the Z. Island is a brave attempt at bringing an entertainment system into the kitchen.

If you’re considering looking into a Z. Island or a similar kitchen unit, check with a local realtor. For example, if you’re based in Austin, Texas, you could consult with HomesATX, to see if adding this would increase the resale value of your property. 

Z.Island

Credit: Image courtesy of DuPont ™ Corian ®. Photography by Leo Torri. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects.

 

Hi-Can High Fidelity Canopy

Hi-Interior’s offering resembles a large box with rounded edges, which makes it incredibly striking. A built-in multi media centre allows the user to enjoy a high definition projected image and has blinds that can be lowered allowing the person within to control their environment.

Bed

Credit: Hi-Can Smart bed, Hi-Interiors

 

Furniture That Transforms

The Transform is an exciting new concept devised by MIT and is designed to be a single piece of furniture that can change shape depending on how the user interacts with it. The ultimate plan is to combine The Transform with a variety of other technologies being developed across the MIT campus so that it can ‘know’ what furniture the user requires and reform itself accordingly.

Another example of this is the Ori System that has been designed to allow for flexibility in a small space. The system combines robotics and architecture to make something that will help create a seamless way of living. 

Ori System

Ori System

Credit: Ori Inc.

The lines between what we consider to be a computer and what isn’t are rapidly becoming blurred. It won’t be long until computers in our clothes and furniture are as ubiquitous as the computers in our shopping centres. Soon our interactions with the world around us will run in parallel to those between the computers woven into our clothes and those in our furniture and homes.