There’s a growing desire for more sustainable living spaces, an increased focus on safety and the need to optimise the remote-working experience.
The development of sophisticated technology has made homes “smarter” in recent years, but, as with most things, COVID is accelerating the pace of change.
Besides the convenience that comes with smart technology, there’s a growing desire for more sustainable living spaces, as well as an increased focus on health and safety and the need to optimise the remote-working experience.
The following innovations spotted in recent months provide a window into how our lives at home are changing now and what might lie ahead in the not-so-distant future.
SMART BRICKS THAT POWER HOME ELECTRONICS
Researchers from Washington University created a super-capacitor brick that stores energy and provides electrical power. Super-capacitors are rapidly recharged structures that store large amounts of energy that are quickly and easily discharged. When used in large numbers and connected to renewable energy sources such as solar panels, the bricks could provide significant savings in cost, time and maintenance.
MINI-DISHWASHER THAT STERILISES KEYS AND OTHER ITEMS
French company Daan Tech has created a tiny eco-friendly dishwasher that can also use ultraviolet light to sterilise items. The dishwasher, dubbed Bob, fits on the side of the sink, and not only cleans dishes but also dries them. It uses a low-energy, low-water technology and, thanks to its built-in 3L water tank does not need to be connected to a water line. The dishwasher was designed with small living spaces in mind and is perfect for students or people who live in alternative types of housing, such as vans or mobile homes.
CARREFOUR AND GOOGLE PARTNER ON VOICE-BASED ECOMMERCE SHOPPING
Carrefour Group, the French retailer operating stores across 30 countries, is partnering with Google to launch a new voice-based eCommerce grocery shopping experience. Carrefour is the first retailer in the world to integrate with the new voice-based grocery shopping experience on the Google Assistant, which can convert shopping lists into shopping carts and propose products that most closely reflect the user’s preferences.
MULTIFUNCTIONAL ‘BOX OFFICE’ HELPS SEPARATE WORK AND HOME LIFE
The “Box Office”, created by industrial designers at the University of the Philippines, mimics the “office cubicle”, providing a private and secluded space within the home, and thus helping to separate working space from home space. It can be adjusted into three main configurations: a wall desk or shelf that comes with or without partitions, which can be adjusted to two different heights; a “Work Tray” that comes with or without partitions; and “Tall Mode”, which is similar to a floor table or desk.
AIR PURIFICATION DEVICE USES PROBIOTICS TO CLEAN INDOOR AIR
Belgian company Breezo developed an air purification system that uses ultrasonic misting of probiotics to enrich the microflora in indoor environments. The system can be placed in any room or office up to 50m². Unlike normal cleaning, where it is almost impossible to reach all contact surfaces (furniture, floors, appliances, curtains, etc.), the company claims that its system colonises all contact surfaces continuously.
MODULAR HOME OFFICE SETUP ADDS PROFESSIONAL STYLE TO REMOTE PRESENTATIONS
Hamburg-based creative design company, Mutabor, has recently launched a modular home office setup that amounts to a professional upgrade of the remote-working experience. Named “The Branded Home Office,” the concept was crafted to help employees work from home more efficiently amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the system helps present webinars and presentations from home with an elevated and work-appropriate aesthetic.
HOME HEATER USES INFRARED RADIATION, SAVING ENERGY
The Solus+, by the Swiss-based startup Koleda, delivers heat via infrared radiation, whereby heat is transferred directly to the objects in the room. This uses around 30 per cent less energy than traditional convection heating systems. The heater can be installed by simply plugging it in, and is designed as a smooth, flat panel that fits almost everywhere in the home, requires no ongoing maintenance and will not burn out.
14th October 2020