7/6/17

Tech-Enabled DIY Projects That'll Transform Your Home


By on 7/06/2017 06:10:00 AM

If you think that technology won’t impact your home, then think again. The world is changing, and changing more rapidly than many people expected. For homeowners, much of it has come as a surprise, but now many experts are predicting that we soon won’t be able to remember a time when we couldn’t just “print out” the family stuff we need for our kitchens, bathroom and living rooms.

It might sound like science fiction, but a lot of this transformative home DIY technology is already demonstrated in the lab and in the field. All we’re waiting for now is scale which, given past home technology trends, won’t take long at all.

How could new technology impact your home? Does it have the potential to change how you live? Let’s find out.

Use Tech To Make Your Own Replacement Bathtub (And Other Things, Of Course). The idea of being able to whip up a new bathtub at home seems a little far-fetched. After all, isn’t that what factories are for? But it turns out that we now have the technology to make the bathtub, the toilet - heck the whole bathroom - all from a single unit in your shed. The magic is carried out by a 3D printer, something which layers up material into three-dimensional objects following instructions from a computer. If it sounds a little bit like the fabricator from Star Trek, then you’re right: it’s basically the same idea.
Image result for bathtub

It’s also something which is being used in people’s homes right now. In Amsterdam, for instance, architects are already making homes using the technology. And companies like Shapeways are already allowing customers to design and order their own 3D-printed custom items.

The knock on effects on your interior decor choices are profound. For decades, homeowners have basically had to make do with what manufacturers churned out of their factories. You had to buy one particular design of sink or another - you couldn’t just go to the factory and get them to make a one-of-a-kind. But with this new tech, homeowners have far more choices. It’s now possible to design your own or choose from a vast library of professionally designed products. Every object in your home could potentially be completely unique, made just for you.

This kind of technology might sound like it’s a long way off, but it’s actually just a marketing hurdle - the technology is already in place. Companies behind the revolution just need to talk about what they’re doing a little more loudly, and soon we’ll all be 3D-printing objects for our homes. Shapeways’ factory in New York is a case in point. Just a few years ago, the company was perhaps making a thousand items a month. Now it’s up to 200,000 and still increasing.

Use Tech To Boost Your Vegetable Patch. If you’re like a lot of DIYers, you love tending to your vegetable patch. But actually tending to it correctly without your crop suddenly dying on you is a challenge. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some kind of technology that enabled you to circumvent lost crops and frustration?

Well, there’s no silver bullet just yet, but we’re getting there. A bunch of new “agtech” startups are developing Internet-connected plant monitors. Essentially, these monitors are like stakes you put in the ground, and they monitor everything from humidity to soil moisture. What’s more, many can be programmed to cater for lots of different plants, providing DIYers with the data they need to take care of their veggies.

Most of these systems come with companion apps. Gardeners get regular updates, informing them whether a particular crop needs watering or additional shade. The idea behind the technology is to prevent crops from spoiling and help growers avoid disappointment.

For the system to work, you’ll need a WiFi signal at your vegetable patch. Some systems function without a WiFi signal by transmitting data when you get near. But this isn’t especially useful if you spend extended periods away from your veggies.

Use Tech To Become Energy Independent. According to Semper Solaris, the time to get solar panels is now. Prices in many states are at an all-time low, thanks to advances in the ways that panels are made. Though solar used to be many times more expensive than coal, prices are now so low that it’s often cheaper.

The great thing about solar is that it allows you to finally get off the grid. Getting your home off the grid used to just be expensive, but now it’s a fun DIY project for anybody. Getting off the grid means a lot more than having solar panels installed. It’s all about using that energy to power all the utilities and services your home needs.

Image result for green energy

The first thing you’ll need to do is load analysis. This is where you find out just how much energy your home requires. Often you’ll find that you’ll need to make efficiency savings around the house in order to bring your energy demand down to the level that your solar roof panels can provide. This could mean adding layers of insulation to the attic, putting in new windows, using draft excluders and changing all your old light bulbs for more frugal LEDs.

The next thing you’ll need to do is find a way to store all that energy you’re collecting during the day so that you can use it at night.

People become energy independent for all sorts of reasons. For many, it’s for ethical reasons, doing their bit for the planet. For others, it’s an objection to the way major utility companies operate and a desire for independence. Whatever your motivations, becoming energy independent is a great way to make your home more sustainable, all thanks to tech.

Reimagine Your Existing Space With AR. People often find it hard to make the best use of their space because it’s difficult to imagine what a new setup would look like. Trying to figure out whether a particular item of furniture would look better in one place or another requires skills of imagination that few people possess.

Image result for augmented reality

But now technology might have an answer, helping DIYers feel more confident about freeing up space in their homes. Augmented reality headsets have finally hit the market, and they’re offering homeowners an opportunity to see how their homes would look if they made changes. Because augmented reality overlays the real world with convincing digital imagery in three dimensions, users are able to see precisely how their homes will look before buying something online or switching their rooms around.

What we’re likely to see in the future, therefore, are more online sellers of homeware offering augmented reality downloads of their products so that users can play around with them in real time. You’ll effectively be able to sit on your couch and move the couch around - and anything else for that matter - to try before you buy.

The possibilities of this kind of thing are endless. Don’t be surprised if we end up seeing new social media networks integrating existing websites like Houzz, providing people with spaces where they’re able to show off their 3D virtual environments.

Aren’t AR headsets still super expensive? Well, yes and no. Because we’re still in early days, some high-end headsets are likely to remain expensive for a long time. The HTC Vive a VR set is up at around $500. But what the virtual reality market shows is that prices are coming down all the time. Google Cardboard, for instance, costs just $15.


About Angela

Angela is a freelance writer and blogger, blessed with 3 daughters, 4 cats, 1 needy dog, and 1 very supportive husband.

0 comments :

Post a Comment

Booking.com