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In the exploding world of innovation, what is just around the corner for homes?

*Energy & Water Efficient
Homes that will save the homeowner money through energy & water efficiency will continue.
A long time ago, toilets used to use 5 gallons of water per flush.  Today, you can find new toilets that are using 1-1.5 gallons per flush.
Energy efficiency through better technology in furnaces as well as solar panels.  While rooftop solar continues to grow rapidly, a company this year might be introducing a “solar canopy”.  This solar canopy is gazebo like and is a modular kit.  It would enable homes to go off the grid or provide back-up energy if the grid goes down.

*Home Automation
With the leap in hand held devices and apps, more homes will start to be programmable through a touch of a button on your phone.
From using your phone to change the home’s temperature, to starting a lode of laundry, to turning lights on everything is just a click away.
Taking the thermostat as an example.  Left home for a few days on a family trip but left the temperature at 70?  Jump online and quickly change your temperature and then shortly before you arrive back home, change it again before you arrive back home.  Teach a thermostat your routine and it will program itself.  Check out www.nest.com for an example.

In ~5 years, fridges and air conditioners could be revolutionized by replacing the decades old use of refrigerants by using a new material that cools when demagnetized.  This new technology has the potential to be 25-30% more efficient.

*Smart Windows
The US Department of Energy just recently announced that it designed a new material.   This new material is a thin coating of nanocrystals embedded in glass that can alter sunlight as it passes through the glass.  When used as a window coating, it can control both the visible and heat-producing infrared light so those inside the home/office/building can enjoy the natural light without the unwanted heat.

*Bio-Walls/Living Walls
Actually bring the outdoors into your home through wall and shelving products for growing plants.
More and more living walls and bio-walls (between 200-500sq.ft)  could begin to inch it’s way into the home market.  Check out what  a bio-wall is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP8130SQw_8




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