3D printing technology (now being referred to as additive manufacturing) has made the news for its potentially dangerous applications (such as home made guns) and manufacturing possibilities, with jet and car engine parts starting to enter the market. But what it could mean for the home, and, in particular, the kitchen has the potential for a home cooking tool that could become as commonplace as the microwave.
NASA is currently working on prototypes for food that can be printed in space using cartridges of powdered ingredients. The dry components are then mixed with water and oil, heated and printed in layers to form various recipes, including pizza. The technology would mean fresh food could be prepared for astronauts rather than relying on food stores, a major plus for longer-term space voyages.
A similar product called ChefJet will be available to buy in the coming months and uses sugar and water to bake confectionary. What’s more is it has the ability for its sugary constructions to form creative shapes unattainable in traditional baking and using downloaded recipes. Other printing products becoming available to everyday homes across the world are geared towards assembling your food, not printing the food itself (but the potential is there).
The end of the weekly supermarket visit and the Jetsons kitchen set-up isn’t that far away.
Your own PA.
Ever wished you had your own PA? Technology that anticipates what we’ll need next as it’s happening is already here and being scooped up by the Googles, Apples and Yahoos of the world. One example is Emu, which was acquired by Google and monitors conversations and activity on your device to make suggestions on things like movie times, tickets, hotel reservations and set reminders.
But rather than an app, the technology companies who make our phones are beginning to integrate the smart virtual personal assistant (SVPA) tech into devices directly.
We’re starting to see the small additions – like the Android’s ability to track where you parked your car at the mall – hinting at what will be possible down the track.
The power is yours.
More homes are generating their power through solar panels, and there’s greater demand to use less power from the grid.
Using power generated by panels to better use new solar battery technology will allow people to store their solar energy. The benefits of such technology include using it as back up power in the event of a blackout, saving up energy during non-peak times at home and managing how it’s being distributed to appliances (which will affect those energy bills), and making up the difference on the rainy days when the sun isn’t cutting it.
The first Aussie energy retailer to offer solar batteries is AGL, who are currently selling batteries to the public.
Every surface working for you.
As demonstrated in video above, Corning Inc’s Glass Age shows our use of multiple smart devices and the Internet of Things will come together in a more seamless way with digitised interactive glass surfaces. This is the kind of tech we’ve only seen in movies like Minority Report and the James Bond franchise, but could eventually be built into our homes, workspaces and schools.
While much of this technology already exists, the road to the fully integrated experience imagined by Corning is still a way off due to cost barriers and other technologies needing to catch up.
Once the ‘Day of Glass’ becomes a ubiquitous reality, it will mean we have reached a point where displays are on every surface, we will have open operating systems and apps that work across all devices (including your SVPA).
Much like the prevalence of the smartphone, Corning says in their video, interactive glass will see “a shift in the way we’ll communicate and use technology in the future.”
The new reality.
The idea of virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR as gaming products is a natural line to draw, and it is one of the main driving industries in its development. (Australia is home to the ground-breaking VR roaming game experience offered by Zero Latency.)
But the potential virtual reality holds for other applications is endless. Within entertainment, it will allow for immersive activities of holiday destinations, galleries, theme parks and more that can be experienced from the living room of your home.
Outside of the entertainment sphere, it will have a dramatic impact on training in industries such as healthcare, the military and aviation. It will also aid in visualising urban landscapes for town planning and architecture to helping people with conditions like PTSD in their therapy, or simply preparing people for situations like public speaking.