Homes of the future are getting a hi-tech* makeover with smart robotic balls as our playmates, front door entry by scanning your palm and electronic chef arms to prepare meals in the kitchen.
These were just some of the ideas on display at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas recently. Other predictions included robotic maids to wait on us, driverless cars to fly us to work, and a fridge that automatically works out what food it has inside.
Making homes, cars and everyday items more intelligent was a big theme at the electronics show with huge predictions* about how our lives will change in the next decade.
But some firms are taking immediate steps towards our robot-filled future too, demonstrating working examples of products you might expect to see in a science-fiction movie.
Samsung showcased its Bot Chef, a pair of robotic arms attached to a kitchen wall and equipped to gather and prepare 35 salad recipes, a more artificially intelligent* fridge that automatically looks at its own contents and suggests meals, and Ballie, a bright yellow robotic companion*.
Ballie is designed to recognise and follow its owner, respond to commands, play with the family pet and, when required, patrol the home to ensure security.
Samsung Electronics Australia spokesman Jeremy Senior said the company had no plans to release the device yet but wanted to give consumers a taste of the technology to come.
“When you look at how we’ll be living in the future, this meets those needs.
“Realistically, this year we will see an expansion of appliances that use our SmartThings platform (to connect to the internet).”
LG had an even bolder vision of the smart home future with a driverless car, an intelligent door, and a restaurant filled with robots — some with animated faces, others without bodies.
LG Australia home entertainment marketing manager Tony Brown said some scenarios were conceptual* but other artificially intelligent solutions could arrive within one or two years.
“We know that our competitors have been talking about it for ages but we’re finally bringing artificial intelligence to products,” he said.
They included LG’s Smart Door and Keeper, a working prototype* that allowed homeowners to unlock their front door with a scan of their palm and provide chilled or cupboard storage for couriers delivering online grocery or shopping orders.
The company’s next washing machines were also designed to connect to the internet to automatically determine the correct wash cycle and alert owners to faults, and its latest smart fridges added technology to detect shapes and show a list of items in your vegetable crisper.
More futuristic developments included the mock-up of a self-driving vehicle with a snacks fridge, laundry-cleaning closet, 5G-connected TV screens, as well as a restaurant from the future with two roaming robotic waiters, and robotic arms to prepare meals, wash dishes, and make coffee.
New robots unveiled at electronics show
“These robots can put all the components of an omelette together, for example. You don’t need Gordon Ramsey* to do that,” Mr Brown explained.
“There is obviously concern about robots taking jobs but these can free up humans to do more creative tasks.”
hi-tech: uses the latest technology
artificially intelligent: a computer developed to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence
conceptual: having to do with the mind
prototype: an early sample or model
Gordon Ramsey: a famous chef
Where was the electronics show held?
What is the Bot Chef?
Name the two companies with the boldest predictions.
Who is Ballie?
What is artificial intelligence?
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1. Sketch of a Smart Home
Draw a sketch of one of these ‘homes of the future’ incorporating as many of these new technological developments listed in the Kids News article as you can.
Label the smart features and list what they do. So your sketch should be an informative diagram of what a home of the future could look like.
Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Digital Technologies, Design and Technologies
Work with a partner and make a list of other technologies you would like to see in one of these homes of the future, and explain how it would improve everyday living or make life easier for an everyday household.
Have the following two columns in your table:
Invention/Technology for a home of the future AND How it works/improves life.
Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Digital Technologies, Design and Technologies, Critical and creative thinking
Scan through the article and see if you can locate three words that you consider to be basic, or low level. Words we use all the time and they can be replaced by more sophisticated words, words like good and said are examples of overused words.
Once you have found them, see if you can up-level them. Think of synonyms you could use instead of these basic words, but make sure they still fit into the context of the article.
Re-read the article with your new words.
Did it make it better?
HAVE YOUR SAY: Which of these invention do you think will be in homes within three years?
No one-word answers Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.