2015 on the Screen
I’m just going to come out and say it: For a movie called “Back to the Future,” they don’t spend nearly enough time in the future! As a result, we get a very limited look at the 1989 conception of what a home in 2015 might look like.
From what I see, they get some things right and some things wrong.
The natural landscape channel in Marty and Jennifer’s 2015 home reminded me of screensavers you’d see on set-top boxes like Apple TV and Google Chromecast. The filmmakers were also half-right on the split screen/picture-in-picture idea, but I can’t imagine watching so many channels all at once would be a good experience. They were right on the nose about video calls – we frequently use programs like FaceTime and Skype for face-to-face interactions.
The TV was also voice-activated, something cable companies and the Xbox One have brought to living rooms recently.
The programmable lights from the McFly home have current counterparts like the Phillips Hue system, which makes it possible to have your lights on when you come into the house.
I really wish it was possible, but there’s no such thing as a hydrator. In order to re-hydrate our dehydrated foods, we have to use plain old boiling water.
Side note: Predictions about technology in the home aside, it’s a bit amusing that the screenwriters predicted the Cubs would win the World Series. They’re down three games to none against the Mets right now in the National League Championship series, but if they come back and pull it off, I’m definitely writing a movie in which the Lions win the Super Bowl in 2022.
What You Can Do to Make Your House Super Futuristic
Let’s start with the entryway. There are plenty of programmable interior and exterior lighting solutions. Although they‘re very easy to use, they can be somewhat pricey depending on what you want out of the system.
Even though there’s no such thing as the hydrator for rapid food, Amazon has a push-button service where you can ask for new groceries to be delivered. The fresh grocery service is only available in select cities at this point.
Staying in the kitchen, there are appliances that can do everything from suggesting the way something should be cooked to being turned on using your smartphone. The same remote capability extends beyond the kitchen and applies to your washer and dryer.
Moving to the living room, this is probably the area of the house where we’ve moved forward the most. There are no less than four companies competing in the race to deliver digital media to your TV. Each has its own unique features and pros and cons. There’s plenty of voice activation and smart assistance in this area, so at least in the living room you can have a Jarvis or Hal wait on your every need – except getting the popcorn.
In terms of cleaning, we don’t have anything like Rosie from the Jetsons, but a Roomba will help with vacuuming. There are also robotic lawnmowers, pool cleaners and a window cleaner that at least aspires to be as good as George Jetson’s robot maid. It’s important to note that these are very expensive solutions.
Finally, you can control the temperature in your house with smart thermostats like those from Nest and Honeywell. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that lets my mom keep the house at 50° while keeping my room at a much more comfortable 68°. Whoever gets on that will be able to make a lot of money.
Futuristic appliances are one thing, but what if you want to do some space-age design? Check out this post on modernist homes.
What would you like in your home of the future? Share with other readers in the comments.
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