Homes of the future

Have you ever wondered what’s in store for houses of the future?

It seems what we used to grow up seeing as “futuristic” could turn into a reality in our lifetime. Remember the Jetsons? A 1960s look into the possibility of a futuristic world a century away.

Yet here we are with many of their inventions a reality in our lifetime.

Video phones, robot cleaners and flat-screen televisions are well-known appliances to us. With many inventions on the horizon, the above most likely won't be the last we'll be seeing.

If you want a house of the future, check out these appliances (if you haven’t already!) that could bring your home light years in the future.

Smart lighting

What is a smart home? It’s defined as a convenient home setup where appliances and devices can be controlled from anywhere.

If you’re thinking about upgrading to more of a smart home, an entry place to begin is with smart lighting.

Smart lighting is controlled and adjusted from your smartphone no matter where you are. It can be on a schedule, meaning your lighting turns on and off around you and your day. The brightness and tone of your lighting can also be adjusted, so you are welcomed home after a long day to a cosy haven.
It can also save you money on your energy bills by only using power when you need it. Practicality and aesthetics aren't the only benefits to smart lighting though. Future smart lighting is likely able to read our body language and interpret our social cues. It will adjust your room's brightness and colour temperature according to your mood. 

Renewable gas

Another thing you may see in homes in the future is the switch to renewable gas. Renewable gas, unlike natural gas, can be made from either green hydrogen or biomethane and doesn’t produce additional emissions. For example, biomethane can be used in the same way we use natural gas today. 

87% of New Zealand’s electricity usage in 2022 came from renewable sources according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) annual report into the energy sector.

Powerco and The Gas Hub are working to decarbonise your home’s gas, so you won’t have to change the way you heat, use hot water or cook your food.

Magnetic fridges

You might be saying, I already have a magnetic fridge.

Different to what you’re probably thinking, magnetic refrigeration is not a new concept but is becoming an innovative reality. Simply put, the temperature of your fridge is moderated by altering its magnetic field.

The way food has been kept cold in our fridges to date has been with something called vapour compression. Widely used for refrigeration, air conditioning and frozen storage, its effect is not the best for the environment. Enter magnetic refrigeration.

First observed in 1881, this method of refrigeration has been in the works for a long time but is making new moves towards being something in your home.

Magnetic refrigeration uses a different cooling method than your standard fridge and is shown to have larger environmental impacts across all categories and may find its way into mainstream retailers.

More efficient and budget-friendly, this is another way to get the most out of your appliances and keep your energy bills down.


Most of us have heard of AI by now. Artificial Intelligence takes ordinary human tasks and does it through technology. Within your home currently, you may already be using AI through well-known AI assistants like Alexa and Siri.

Eliminating the use of remote controls for the TV or even searching the internet, you can call out to your AI home device, and it will do it for you.

With the AI world continually improving, voice assistants are improving too, with their understanding of commands made by you and their responding abilities continuously growing. But in the houses of the future, AI could become the very brain of your home. Learning about who lives in your home, your tendencies and habits, it looks like AI may even be able to coordinate the smart devices in your home to suit you and your routines.

Touchless tech

A staple in the smart home arena and only boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic, touchless tech is the way of the future. By now you’ve probably seen touchless hand sanitiser dispensers and while not completely tech-smart, the possibilities are there and growing.

Among the new creations are touchless doorbells, allowing guests to let you know they’ve arrived, without touching shared surfaces.

If you love the idea of not touching too many shared surfaces, the rise in smart-home devices controlled from your phone may be right up your alley. 

By only using your phone - this means no one touches the device itself minimising the areas where germs can transfer and keeping you and your guests healthier.

Smart thermostats

Smart thermostats are an eco-friendly, cost-efficient smart home appliance you may want to invest in.

Popular smart-home tech, smart thermostats can be customised to not only your preferred temperature but also your routines, so your home is comfortable throughout the day.

Set the heating to turn on at night and early morning so you’re warm in the cooler parts of the day and if out on a hot day, switch the air conditioning on through your phone so you don’t get home to a heat trap! Some smart thermostats, too, can be set to automatically turn down when you leave the house, saving you wasted money.

The ability to control the temperature and turn it off no matter where you are is budget-friendly but also eco-friendly. 

Easy to use, available from your phone anywhere and potentially saving you money. What more could you ask for?

Health tech

If the creation of any smart-home device was accelerated by the pandemic, it was health tech.

Using smart devices to improve things like air quality, humidity etc are all in the works and rightly so, with overall health being a big priority in society now.

Devices like smart air purifiers and air conditioners, smart doorbells and smart water filtration systems are all things advancing in this area to help us analyse the bacteria that go unseen in our day-to-day lives.

On the other end, smart toilets are an upcoming home appliance you may be hearing more about in the coming years. Not only do they keep your hygiene under control, but some models now are even analysing bowel movements, giving you potential warning signs of any health issues so that you can be on top of any illnesses earlier on.

It seems that nothing can be short of our imagination… What once seemed impossible, is now very much possible. The rise in smart-home appliances, paired with renewable gas could make for a completely new way of living in the future. With hydrogen gas and biogas already being developed and trialled here in New Zealand and globally, houses of the future may be here sooner than we think.

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