What is a Smart Home and What is Smart Furniture?

Smart Furniture (like smart phones, smart TVs, smart watches, smart jewelry, etc) are, as you could rightly guess, furniture combined with technology such as networking capability that will allow you to extend your furniture beyond its original analogue function.

Having a Smart Home entails that various household appliances and objects are connected via your home network, giving you access to, for example, the light settings in your living room or even the contents of your fridge from your smartphone – even when you’re not at home.

How will it change your life?

There is nothing more irritating than running out of power on your phone or tablet when you’re nowhere near a power supply. That’s why, like a lot of people these days, I always carry around a portable charger! However, isn’t it ironic that we depend on yet another thing that we have to charge in order to charge something else? Wouldn’t it be awesome if we didn’t even have to care or even think about charging our devices ever again?

Smart Furniture aims to solve a whole variety of our first world problems, charging devices being just a single one of those daily annoyances that Smart Furniture will someday eliminate entirely.

Smart Furniture and the Internet of Things (IoT)

All of those little niggling doubts you have when you’re out and about:

  • “Did I lock the door?”
  • “Did I unplug the iron?”
  • “Did I leave the oven on?”
  • etc, etc….

Having a Smart Home means that all of your household appliances and gadgets can all be connected in the Internet of Things, and is without a doubt the future of furniture. Your smartphone or tablet could act as a remote control for everything in your home. Whether you want to pre-heat the oven from the living room, change the temperature or lighting colour and brightness of each room in the house, or pretty much anything really.

According to technology reason firm Gartner, we can expect approximately 26 billion connected devices by 2020 with the market worth an amazing $300 billion.

Ton Steenman, the Vice President of Intel’s Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Group with over three decades of expertise in the IT industry, believes that the Internet of Things is the biggest transformation in technology that he has ever seen. He stated:

“Some of the analysts have concluded that 85 percent of the devices that could benefit from the Internet of Things sit in existing infrastructure out there but are unconnected, so it is a big opportunity for industry to connect all those up.”

Ikea have introduced a new line of furniture with hotspots that can wirelessly charge your devices. Imagine, all you have to do to charge your phone or tablet is simply to just put it down on the coffee table or on your bedside lamp or wherever. Wireless charging like this uses the Qi technology that is starting to become the standard for new smartphones, including the new Samsung Galaxy S6, but there are adaptors available for use with older smartphone models.

In South Korea, SK Telecom and Hyundai Livart have recently partnered to produce a range of internet-based smart furniture featuring built-in touchscreens that allow users to browse the internet, make a receive calls or even use the surface as a mirror (like the front-facing “selfie” camera of a smartphone”. You could link up your smart kitchen cabinet to a music streaming service like Spotify, so you can change the music while you’re cooking, browse for recipes, follow YouTube recipe tutorials, or even take that “cooking selfie” and post it on your social media!

Children’s mischievous games of “Knock Down Ginger” or “Ding Dong Ditch” will be made completely impossible when the doorbell automatically displays on your phone a photo of the person at the door when pressed.

But first, we should probably get IPv6 sorted out….

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