Sept. 16, 2013
Get ready for the appliances of the future including a dryer that reduces your clothes to pellets, a dishwasher built into the cupboard and a sink that recycles water.
GE Appliances has looked beyond the usual three to five year development cycle to see what could be in store for the connected home of 2025.
Four teams of employees focused on distinct customer segments and what their homes would be like in the future after studying trends in advances in food science, demographic shifts, ecological issues, healthcare services, water scarcity and home delivery. "This isn't about the Jetsons or pie-in-the-sky ideas," said Lou Lenzi, director for GE Appliances' Industrial Design Operation. "Home 2025 is about reality-based innovation that will be possible over the next decade."
How it started
Before they began designing, the teams started with research. "Our first step was to extensively review macro trends and the latest advancements in technology," said Lenzi. From advanced materials to energy efficiency, the team took a broad view on the biggest macro trends impacting our society.
The teams explored various life stages and home configurations to develop concepts of the future. From younger consumers in smaller spaces to older consumers in single-family homes, each team had specific target consumers and designed a living space based on their unique needs.
Key themes and future concepts of the Home of 2025 include:
The death of one-purpose appliances: Much like the smartphone has become a TV, a navigation system and a phone, so will appliances integrate disparate functions into uber-appliances. This becomes more important as sizes of homes and apartments continue to shrink.
The supermarket goes the way of the video store … and the milkman returns: Smart appliances perform inventory management and automatically place online orders for food. As consumers desire more fresh food delivered to their home, refrigeration units can be installed with access outside of your home, so you need not be present for delivery.
Water scarcity means innovations in washing: Gray water will be recycled and repurposed through our appliances.
Water is Life
Sustainability will be integral to living in the future, driven by urbanization, frugality and climate change. Household appliances must use minimal water, or be able use recycled water. Advances in filtration and sanitization technology help keep laundry and dishwasher appliances from getting too thirsty. Gray water from the dishwasher in GE’s Home 2025 is recycled back through and can be used for the sustainable growing wall, where herbs and vegetables are harvested.
Honey, I ate the houseplant: As the desire for fresh food grows, indoor plants become a food source as synthetic beehives provide pollination.
The clothing store becomes one machine: In GE's Home 2025, a laundry machine not only washes and dries, it stores clothing items in convenient pellet form, and then revives clothes for immediate wear or dispenses them in compressed form for travel. Commercial compressors and revivers are found in public areas.
|On-the-Go with Ease
After washing and drying your clothing, the laundry machine in GE’s Home 2025 compresses items into pellets and stores them in the machine. When ready to select your outfit, the machine dispenses the items in either pellet form for on-the-go or in revived form to wear now.
Aging in place: As older consumers rely on fewer people to take care of them, appliances that take biometric information and dispense medication can mean independence for many years to come.
Save space and time in GE’s Home 2025. A cutting board doubles as the dishwasher lid, and sliding mesh dividers in the prep area keep produce cooled and easily accessible.
Read more about Going Green.
Photos and videos courtesy GE Appliances.