The Clever Heritage Home

Heritage homes are being silently upgraded using wireless smart technology. Houses are beginning to learn what heating and lighting you need, includinig garden mood lighting changable to suit your mood, and interiors featuring home-help devices and pet-sitting robots, so no longer will you have to wonder whether the kids remembered to feed Rova because  you will be home very late and if Rova needs to visit the garden for a pee, your pet will request exist just as she does now, by going to a door, but the system will check whether there are prowlers about and as long as it is satisfied that your security isn’t compromiised, it will open the door for Rova and close it behind her, letting her back in a few minutes later.  These will be just a few of the major changes to our living spaces over the next two decades, helped by home and work areas being merge during the pandemic, and people being more comfortable being in the office 3 or 4 days a week. 

Mercifully, the curse of modern light switches in period homes will disappear. 

Fixtures, lighting and heating will automatically and intelligently adapt to the household’s learned preferences. In dedicated working spaces, lighting will be automatically optimised according to daylight or the work being done aand if you’re on a video call, the ambient lighting will adjust to ensure you’re well lit. Light switches will cease to be an item as everythiing will be app, voice or smart-controlled so when you are moving around the house, the system will know what you normally request and charge lighting accordingly. Finally, the curse of modern light switches in period homes will disappear as these are replaced by smartness. When did you ever seee Captain Kirk turn on a light? As he enters the ready room, standard lighting is activated, and as he approches his desk, his desk becomes active anad if he’s quietly reading on those boring long nights in space where absolutely nothinig happens, his ambiient lightiing adjusts. 

We may also need to have a meeting at the drop of a hat when we’re in the garden with our kids, and the system will automatically know this and we’ll step instantly into a virtual environment and the second we’re ready to resume family life, the trappings of work will disappear and  the character of the walls, ceiling, lighting and atmosphere of our home will change to a homelife settinig.

Home mini-robotic helpers will be our home helps, and instead of shouting at the kids to come down for dinner, or ringing them on their mobiles in their bedrooms, the mini-robohelper in their rooms will be able to pass messages to them, just as we are able now to do with Google Home but it will also monitor the temperature and air quality throughout the house and monitor whether the kids are usinig theor mobiles after they’ve supposedly gone to bed. Micro-drones will automatically check out whether your gutters are in need of cleaning and the state of your roof, rather than needing to hire some lumbering oaf to trample all over your roof cracking tiles. Home appliiances will not break down silently anymore, they will regularly tell you about their performance, any technical problems or compenent wear and energy consumption, all via a smart app that will also interface to your home intelligence system, they will call or text you when the washing is complete and because they’ll know what is in the wash, they’ll be able to minimise creasing until you can get to em[ty the washing machine.

The future is unquestioningly integration, and in heritage homes, the secret is integraation of the systems so that they don’t stand out like a sore thumb. For example, if you have a house steeped with Georgian style iinside and out, your smart systems will look like a painting or wooden box on your desk until activated by voice or your hand moving towards them, when they will magically like something out of Harry Potter. 

Even your swimming pool will know when you’re likely to want to swim from your diary and usual habits and it’ll  optimise the water for you and as you’re geting changed, it will remove the cover as well as avoiding unnecessary energy expenditure. For example, if you’re on holiday for 3 weeks, your pool will know because your house intelligence system will know and it’ll put on the cover and lower temperature to reduce costs.

For the lucky ones, our houses will remain separately designated with personal libraries and our own study and chill-out areas, but for the average person who doesn’t have a local mansion, thiings will change dramatically. Our standard ‘cellular’ rooms are a recent cultural invention from Georgian and Victorian times and room designations will soon disappear, as spaces become more multipurpose and flexible. Our bedrooms will instantly transform whilst we’re having a shower to our dressing rooms and once we’re dressed, they’ll transform into our study or offices, complete with automated decor and lighting changes, our living rooms will become gym or meeting room as soon as we need them. We already have wall panelling capable of an infinite number of decoratiice features and mirrors which transform into televisions. That rather nice mirror in the dining room or was it reconfigured as the meeting room, mid-meeting becomes active as a whiteboard summarising the discusssions, all smart-enabled, and instantly the meeting is stopped by a newsflash relevant to the meeting just broadcast on the local news channel …and it starts at the start of the news-clip not part-way through…again,  thanks to smartness. At the end of the news report, the mirror changes again from TV to videoscreen with the head of production ready to update on the news incidence and how it will impact on global supply. Ten minutes later, the holographic or virtual avatars of the other meeting members (depending on your tech) have disappeared and the room is back to your study and in 45 minutes will notify you that it is transmuting to a dining room and that your work, virtual documents and all, have been moved to your private study. 

As part of this multipurpose approach, it’s predicted that each family member will use smart glasses to arrange the space around them, with their own choice of artwork, virtual clocks and windows into different worlds. And for people still working from home, colleagues will be projected as holograms onto virtual seats for meetings, from anywhere in the world.

As dusk arrives, your windows change from externally mirrored to reflect the heat, to plain and as it gets darker, the glass transmutes to privacy glass and even in the heeritage home, the window style will remain fully intact and compliant, so that the Georgian bars remain and the glass only becomes privacy glass as the external shutters automatically come into place. 

Energy, even in heritage homes, will much more efficient, with heating systems clever enough to mean householders will only need to capture the heat from appliances to heat their homes, even in the middle of winter, and energy generated in summer will be stored in an heat reservoir to be used in winter with power generated on site by photovoltaics that are a fraction of the size they are now and which are indistinguishable from the heritage setting that they are already a part of.