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5 Futuristic Gadgets That You’ll Have in Your Living Room One Day

5 Futuristic Gadgets That You’ll Have in Your Living Room One Day

    The living room is a relatively modern inclusion in the home, allowing for a level of leisure and recreation that was unheard of in centuries past. This rapidly evolving space is the home’s hub for entertainment, offering ample opportunities for fun and exciting futuristic technologies to infiltrate into everyday family life.

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    1. Immersive Gaming Systems

    The gaming industry must constantly change and evolve to keep up with the player’s desire for an increasingly realistic experience. Systems like the Wii have already made motion sensing controllers a mainstream alternative to more traditional gaming systems. The next step is to make the gaming environment more immersive than ever by placing players right inside the game.

    Virtual reality goggles are one popular way to achieve this. The Microsoft IllumiRoom projects images of the gaming environment right on the walls of your living room. There are several ways that these games can become more immersive. Whatever direction the trend takes, the outcome is a gaming world right in your home.

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    2. Holographic Televisions

    In this day in age we have the technology of HDTV and 3D TV. However, Japan’s Communications Ministry hopes to make holographic television a reality by 2020. University of Arizona researchers made a major breakthrough in this technology in 2008. The researchers broke the last major barrier to developing moving 3D holograms by finding a way to update the memory in three-dimensional displays. With this technology, you could watch programming from your favorite shows in a whole new way. Instead of looking at a screen on the wall, you would watch holographic images standing right in the room, bringing you face-to-face with characters in a whole new way.

    3. Voice and Gesture Controls

    Today’s typical smartphone user is well accustomed to controlling household tech from the palm of the hand. Numerous products allow you to manage home security, baby monitors, and climate control through apps on your smartphone or tablet. The future promises even more ease of use with voice and gesture controls. Forget hunting down a misplaced iPhone or remote control to do your bidding. In the future, expect to change channels with a vocal request or flick of the finger.

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    4. Environments Customized at a Touch

    If you’re a chronic re-decorater who can never settle on a single look, you may find the living room of the future very much to your liking. The technology already exists to create an environment that you can radically change with a few taps on your tablet. These products will likely become more mainstream in the future, coming together to create a home that changes with your mood, the season, or the day of the week.

    Multi-color LED light bulbs with Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to change the color of your lighting to suit your current tastes. Change your home environment to make it relaxing in the evening, energizing in the morning, and carefully optimized for concentration when the kids are doing their homework. Digital shades allow you to change the opacity of your windows via an app. SONTE film changes from transparent to opaque in an instant, and it can even act as a projector screen. Motorized blinds you can control with an app are another option.

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    5. Televisions Taking Over for PCs

    The personal computer may already find itself facing a slow death thanks to the convenience of tablets and smartphones. With television systems that can now access the Internet through your TV, the PC may find that it’s been completely replaced. Families that use the Internet recreationally for activities like shopping, social networking, and surfing YouTube videos will find that they can do all of this through the television on a larger screen.

    The living room of the future may take over for the office in this respect, particularly in homes where the office is more of a space for storing computers and other technology, and less a place of real work.

    The living room will undoubtedly evolve with new gaming, entertainment, and decorating trends of the future. The potential for customizing this space and creating an immersive space for movies, video games, and more is so immense that we can only speculate at the exciting options the future will bring.

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    Last Updated on September 28, 2020

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

    At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

    Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

    One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

    When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

    So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

    Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

    This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

    Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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    When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

    Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

    One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

    Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

    An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

    When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

    Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

    Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

    We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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    By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

    Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

    While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

    I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

    You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

    Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

    When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

    Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

    Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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    Con #2: Less Human Interaction

    One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

    Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

    Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

    This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

    While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

    Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

    Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

    This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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    For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

    Con #4: Unique Distractions

    Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

    For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

    To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

    Final Thoughts

    Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

    We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

    More About Working From Home

    Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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