1. Smart windows
Windows will have built in smart sensors and digital panels that allow you to set the levels of light or dark, UV protection, and even scenery just by touching them. The need for window shades and coverings will be obsolete and of course the exterior face of all windows will be equipped to capture and harness solar energy.
2. Computational surfaces
Additionally, mirrors, shower glass, and just about any surface can be made “computational,” accepting our commands by touch screen and customizing our living experience.
3. Solar technologies
Likewise, a good portion of our power needs in the home will come from solar energy by 2020, no matter what the climate. Remember the solar road concept that basically made solar conductors out of paving tracks and materials? It’s a bad idea for roads but a great idea for homes, where roofing materials and even siding will all have solar cells implanted, finally taking us away from non-renewable fuels.
4. Personal 3D printing
Do you need a tool around the house? A part to fix a leaky faucet? Even a custom welcome sign with your address and family name on it? Instead of driving to the store, the average American will be able to just plug in their personal 3D printer at home, download the plans just like we download apps now, make adjustments online, and print these things. Very soon, we’ll be able to print custom clothing, toys, artwork, school supplies, and even medical tech, as the future of 3D printing is exciting and limitless.
Sure, television screens will get thinner, more clear and interactive (such as with OLED technology already in development), but the NEXT revolution in communications and entertainment will be in 4D holograms, displaying television, video, phone calls, gaming, chats, etc. all in near-life like displays.
6. Closed water systems
Sadly, the UN reports that 75 percent of our world’s freshwater is already polluted. As we become more environmentally conscious and water becomes the most valuable substance on earth, even wastewater from our sinks, showers, toilets, and hoses won’t go to waste. Homes will have complex systems that allow for evaporative water and rain water to be captured, channeled into the system, filtered and used around the house. Likewise, wastewater won’t be expelled but refiltered and recirculated in our gardens, toilets, fountains, and hoses, etc.
7. Fingerprint scan security
“Do you remember back in the day when people actually carried these little metal key things around with them?” That’s what we’ll be saying in 2020, when unlocking your front door will be a matter of placing your finger on a sensor so the system can scan your fingerprints and approve you for entry.
8. Ocular scanning and facial recognition
We’re also likely to see ocular scans and face recognition technology for more advanced security systems, but in 2020, fingerprint security will do just fine for shedding these metal keys.
By 2016, the majority of people will be feeding condensed pellets made of waste, organic materials, agricultural byproducts and even garbage into heating and energy systems in our homes, allowing us to get further away from fossil fuels and save money with clean energy.
10. Light Peak technology
Light peak technology is a technology that allows super fast data transfer, eventually allowing us to sync and share terabytes of information in microseconds.
11. Personal computing will only need personal data
Information sharing will allow us to walk around with our own personal “computer” full of files, data, and storage, in a watch, pendant, pen drive or other vehicle, plugging in and accessing any portal in any room, home, business or office, anywhere in the world without relying on personal ownership of devices.
12. Personal food production
Everyone eats, and every home and even apartment has plenty of space to grow food with green roof and green wall growing systems. Spare closets, basements, attics, vertical gardens on the inside or outside of walls, and floating agriculture are all going to allow the average person to grow and consume a significant portion of their food, allowing us to save money, better monitor what goes into our food, and live healthier lives.
13. Shifting walls
Instead of applying a coat of paint when you want to change the color of a room, you’ll be able to program the exact color you want into digital walls and room, instantly turning it the desired color shade, design, or even replicating a scenic landscape.
14. Watch command
Everything in our homes – from entry to security, temperature control, appliances, filtering systems, and lighting, etc. will be controllable and adjustable by touching your watch – whether you are home or not.
15. Gesture Control
Lighting, televisions, appliances, window shading, and many other functions around the house will respond to voice commands and gestures, not with archaic keyboard strokes and mouse clicks.
16. Conversing with the central computer
Likewise, you’ll be able to program every alarm clock, reminder, and appliance with simple voice commands to the home’s central computer, which will unify every electronic and digital function into a single easy to operate system.
17. Light-up flooring and furniture
Just about every surface will have intricate LED lighting systems or digital programming, which means you’ll be able to set your floor panels to light up when you walk on them (making your own disco dance floor) or allow furniture to light up and shift in color like a lava lamp when someone sits on it. Of course, the uses of this technology will have more practical uses like security.
18. Programming based on our heartbeats
Your home’s central computer will be able to read the heart rate and biometrics of the people in the room, adjusting the temperature, lighting, oxygen content, filtering system, and even noise levels to their individual pre-settings. Your home will also be able to detect if someone is sick or unusually angry, anxious, or tired, adjusting the environmental settings accordingly.
19. Storage solutions
With our population set to double by 2050 and the urbanization of living in mega cities, space will be at a premium. Innovative storage solutions that we can’t even dream of will make sure every inch of space in the home – like in the basement, attic, between the walls, etc. is used efficiently – but adaptable and flowing enough for a modern aesthetic.
20. Self-cleaning bathrooms and kitchens
We might not have maid robots in 2020 but the cleaning systems will be pretty self reliant, with intricate sensors and ultrasonic self-cleaning systems installed in the most germ-addled areas of the home like toilets, showers, sinks, garbage cans, water spigots, and on kitchen and cooking counters.