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.
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.
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.
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.
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.