The “house of the future” is on display in Kelowna, showcasing a plethora of network connected technology — some yet to be massed produced and others that consumers can already buy.
The display, set up by Telus to promote its fibre optic network, which has already been installed in Kelonwa and West Kelowna, features gadgets to make the home of the future run smoothly and, of course,wirelessly.
They include a giant 78-inch, curved-screen 4k high-definition television set fully integrated with the home’s security and other information and control systems and controllable by an app on your smart phone, a face-recognition system to unlock and automatically open the front door, a fully connected home office with a retractable video monitor screen and huge touch screen providing voice ans video connections to the outside world, a fully digital information-giving stove top that includes a touch digital reader that not only identifies food placed on it, but can weigh the food,give information about it and suggest recipes that include that food.
Also in the kitchen is a motion-sensitive menu-planning system that keeps track of the food you have in your fridge and suggests appropriate menus.
There is also a monitor inside the front door that provides up to the minute information about everything inside and outside the house, from the weather that day to email messages waiting for you and even if you missed the delivery of a package. It then connects you to the delivery service so you can have it redelivered.
“This will all make life easier and give people more time to do other things,” said Ryan Bazeley, senior media relations manager with Telus.
But while operation of some elements of the house—which is actually a small modular building—are possible using traditional copper networks, the enhanced abilities of fibre optics will allow more of them to be used at the same time.
Telus says its fibre network will one day have transfer speeds of up to 1 gigabyte.
Part of the problem today,say Telus officials, is that while super fast speeds are now available going one way—downloading for instance—the same speed is not available going the other direction—uploading.
But Bazeley said with fibre the same speeds can be provided going both ways—called symmetrical—making the technology good for operations like video conference calling, medical consultations over the internet and a host of other work network intensive operations.
According to Tony Geheran, vice-president of broadband networks for Telus, the display home is an attempt to show the public where technology can take us.
He said while today’s top speed on the Telus network at 150 mb/sec., early next year customers will be able to get 250 mb/sec transfer rates, and they will be symmetrical.
The house of the future is free to tour and is located in the north-east corner of the parking lot at Orchard Park Shopping Centre until Nov. 12. It will then move to the Okanagan Lake Shopping Centre in West Kelowna, where it will be open to the public from Nov. 15 to to Nov. 20.