Glimpsing the Home of the Future

Technology has already changed many aspects of daily living, completely altering the way we talk, listen to music, use the Internet, and watch video, just to name a few. From the time we spend in the car to what we do walking around or on the bus, the variety of gadgets and gizmos we use today would of seemed like science fiction just 10 years ago, but now has become par for the course.

Considering how rapidly technology advances, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to hear that a number of exiting innovations are on their way to improve the way we live at home. To help you get an idea of what the future may hold, here are a few of the more interesting and exciting home appliances out there.

Heated Fridge

For those who remember the excitement when refrigerators started dispensing ice and water for the first time, it’s time to get excited once again as General Electric has created the first refrigerator that heats as well as cools. The company’s Café French Door refrigerator features the ability to quickly heat up to 10 ounces of water almost instantly. GE also says the fridge contains a filter that purifies the water by removing any chemicals it may contain prior to drinking.

Smokeless Fireplace

The Australian company EcoSmart Fire has developed what they refer to as a “torchlike decorative appliance” that for all practical purposes acts as a smokeless fireplace. Burning a bioethanol to produce flames eight to 10 inches high, the EcoSmart systems typically come in a fish tank like enclosure and produces enough heat to warm most rooms. Since these systems aren’t technically classified as fireplaces under most U.S building codes, they are legal to use in apartments.

Smart Outlets

Living in the era of the smartphone means needing to constantly recharge your handheld devices, which generally means jockeying for position at your home’s outlets. To address this issue, the New York based company Leviton has created a wall outlet that features two USB ports that allows tech users to cut out the so called “middleman” of typical plugs to jack straight in to recharge.

Small but Powerful

As many parts of the nation continue to receive an annual pummeling from severe weather, many homeowners want their own generators get them through periods of extended blackout. To answer this need, GE Generator Systems has released a new 8kW generator, which the company claims as featuring the smallest eco-footprint in its class. The generator can be placed up to 18 inches away from the home, making it perfect to use in densely populated urban settings.

Up and Away

As new construction continues to shift away from one-story ranch style homes and more towards multistory, multigenerational homes, the need for elevators has become more pronounced. Companies such as Residential Elevators Inc. now build small elevators in homes that can rise up to 50 feet and carry up to 950 pounds, which makes them a great addition for homes with seniors or adults who suffer from mobility problems.

Timothy Lemke is a freelance writer who frequently contributes to the website of the house painting Portland professional at Brian Hoge.

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