The technological advancements that take place over a few decades can be astonishing. Fifty years ago, the Beatles didn’t consider the possibility of iPods in every pocket or live-streaming of concerts. And 50 years from now could we really be living in space like the Jetsons? That remains to be seen, but if GE has its way, the capabilities of our household appliances will make great strides in as little as 10 to 12 years.
With its Home2025 project, GE’s brightest industrial designers and advanced development engineers are working to imagine what our homes could do for us in the not- too-distant future.
“We don’t want to go too far out, so we’re starting with technology that exists today,” explains Julie Wood, appliances PR manager for GE. “For instance, 3-D printing exists. It isn’t in homes yet, but what if it was? What would it look like? The Home2025 project is a great exercise to get a look at what’s headed down the road.”
Wood says each Home2025 team chose a certain set of demographics or needs to focus on, such as seniors or the urban environment. “If you know who the consumer is, you can design a better product for them,” she says. Here’s a look at GE’s first iteration of project ideas.
Lovable laundry: Future laundry appliances will wash and dry clothes, compress them for storage, and then revive them (wrinkle-free, of course) for immediate wear.
So long, supermarket: Rather than weekly hauls to the grocery store, smart appliances will keep track of kitchen inventory and automatically order items for delivery when needed. Refrigeration units with access from outside the home mean food deliveries can be safely contained even if you’re not home to receive them.
Wise water use: Gray-water systems will recycle and reuse water in certain appliances to stave off water scarcity.
To your health: Smart medicine cabinets will check your vital signs, dispense daily medications, and maybe even provide an extra glass of water if they sense that you are dehydrated.
Sound too far off? Wood says that if the consumer demand is there, GE would be willing to test something like an all-in-one laundry tower within the decade.