Are we ready to live in the ‘Home of the Future’?
Can we expect to see the ‘Home of the Future’ by 2020? Are we ready to embrace existing technology in our lives? Is there enough demand and infrastructure to facilitate the growth of technology? Researchers at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University got answers to many such questions in their survey. The online, opt-in survey covered 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers, and critics.
Technologists and corporate officials have already started work to plot the future. Cisco even predicts that there will be 25 billion connected devices in 2015 and 50 billion by 2020. But tech analysts have observed that people still find comfort in the familiar, simple systems to which they are accustomed.
Around 51% of the participants believed that we are coming closer to the foretold ‘Home of the Future.’ However, some 46% voiced the opposing view that the implementation of smart technology has failed because of its complexity, the lack of consumer trust, and bad economy among others. Survey participants also felt that the future predicted technological change is no more than just a marketing mirage.
Reasons for roadblock
According to Charlie Firestone, executive director of the Communications and Society program at the Aspen Institute, “Smart homes are on their way, but this development is being delayed. Not so much by lack of trust as by lack of alignment of the key players—utilities, ISPs, manufacturers.”
Donald G. Barnes, visiting professor at Guangxi University in China; former director of the Science Advisory Board at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, wrote, “Barriers include the following: economic weakness, economic uncertainties, building codes, lack of standardization, lack of oversight/regulation (which actually leads to an atmosphere of business confidence), lack of tested, mature technologies, and resistance from entrenched technologies.”