Imagine a bathroom mirror that reads your vital signs, a nightstand that keeps your tea warm, and a washing machine that eliminates the need to iron. They sound like gizmos you might find in the Jetson household—but according to a team of GE engineers and designers, they could be in our homes within the next 12 years. Based on trends and technological advancements, the group has forecast a line of appliances that will change our daily lives. The concepts are currently on display at the Cressman Center art gallery in Louisville, Kentucky, where GE does much of its manufacturing. Below, the 10 predictions we’re rooting for.
Kitchen Help Wanted
Thanks to improvements in voice, motion, and facial recognition, as well as sensors in your appliances, you’ll get all the help you need—from virtual chefs, who will be able to interact with you in real time as you cook. From a screen in your kitchen, they’ll serve up precise instructions and tips as you chop, stir, knead, fry, and bake your way to a perfect meal.
Hydration from the Tap
The handle on this futuristic faucet uses biometric data to tell you how dehydrated you are, as well as how much liquid you need to drink to rehydrate. And it doesn’t leave you stuck with filtered water: The faucet also dispenses carbonated water and other beverages, made using flavor cartridges. Plus ice and vitamins too.
A City-slicker’s BBQ Dream
No patio? No problem. Apartment-dwellers will be able to mount a compact grill onto a window. It comes equipped with mechanisms that draw smoke out of the living space for an urban grilling experience—no gas mask required.
Ever wonder how long you should wash an apple before you bite? Integrated sensors in your future sink will alert you when chemicals or bacteria are present on your produce, so you can keep scrubbing until all contaminants are safely removed.
Good for the Garden
Your food disposal will pull double duty, dispensing compost pellets that you can put directly in your vegetable plot.
Place your hand on the mirror of your medicine cabinet, and sensors will read your vital signs, including your blood pressure, blood glucose level, and heart rate. Then the unit dispenses tailored doses of your medications for that day.
A Cooler Nightstand
That cold glass of water you pour at bedtime tastes awfully tepid come 2 a.m. In 2025, your night table will keep it cool for you: With a surface made of a thermoelectric nano material, it can recognize the temperature difference between it and any object you place on it, adjusting to keep the object at its current temperature. The effect works for hot beverages, too, keeping them warm at your bedside.
Your Very Own 3D Printer
The technology isn’t new, but it’s getting more affordable and more compact. By 2025, 3D printers could be commonplace in the home. The machines are perfect for “printing” a replacement part for an appliance, an earring back, or extra silverware.
The Modern Milkman
Grocery shopping is sooo 2012. In the future, GE’s designers say, you’ll shop on your smart phone and have your groceries delivered to your front door, even while you’re away. A device installed outside the home will keep delivered items cool or warm until you return.
The End of Ironing
The washing machine of the future could be able to read sensors on your clothes that communicate care instructions, extending the lives of your delicates. But it gets better: Once a piece of clothing has been washed and dried, it’s compressed and stored as a pellet inside the machine. When you’re ready to wear it, the machine either dispenses the pellet for efficient packing in a suitcase or gym bag; or “revives” the item using steam and “optional scents.” You will no longer be needing an iron, or even a closet.
Learn more about Home Automation.