I’d like you to reflect about the magnificent world of technology that surrounds us for a moment. It’s not simply the smartphones in our pockets or the sparkling screens that illuminate our life. Every part of our existence is shaped by technology in its entirety. Let us continue our journey through the Tech for Good series by looking at how innovation has revolutionised the fundamental essence of home, bringing shelter and security to millions of people.
As we continue on this journey, I’m reminded of our first installment, in which we looked at the tremendous advances in healthcare. Today, we’ll delve into the world of housing, bringing light on both well-known and lesser-known stories that will inspire you.
Today, when we talk about housing and technology, we frequently envisage the Internet of Things. Smart TVs, thermostat applications, Ring doorbells, and voice-activated assistants like Alexa have all become a part of our everyday life. And don’t forget about robotic vacuum cleaners, a wonderful marvel that assures we don’t have to lift a finger to keep our homes clean.
Aside from electronics, technology has transformed the process of creating our homes.
Computer-aided technologies are increasingly required for everything from infrastructure planning to architectural design. Our homes are more than just bricks and mortar; they are the result of cutting-edge techniques and energy-efficient materials created in warehouses before being seamlessly placed on-site. Solar panels and heat pumps, which are already widespread, not only benefit our wallets but also help to save our dear planet.
Did you know that about one billion people worldwide lack secure shelter? Access to decent, economical, and long-term housing remains one of society’s most difficult concerns.
While prefabricated housing has been available for decades, a stunning innovation is on the rise: 3D printed housing.
Two American businesses, New Story and ICON, collaborated a few years ago to produce the world’s first 3D printed complex in Mexico, delivering 50 inexpensive homes to a neighbourhood in need. Their 350-square-foot prototype was finished in just 48 hours, providing a glimpse into the future of homebuilding.
Consider the following: While we cook our meals in high-tech ovens and air fryers, three billion people across the world still cook over open flames, which emit toxic pollutants into the air. Every year, two million people are killed by indoor smoke from cooking fires. BioLite’s HomeStove, an advanced forced draft biomass cookstove, has reduced hazardous indoor air pollution by up to 90%. Surprisingly, it also enables users to charge mobile phones, LED lights, and other USB-powered goods.
In a world where natural disasters strike with tragic regularity, engineers have found not only ways to make structures more durable, but also strategies to quickly and effectively assist those who have lost their homes due to earthquakes, storms, floods, or war. Did you know that IKEA has built a flat-pack refugee housing in conjunction with the United Nations that requires no special tools to assemble? It also has solar panels that provide electricity, appropriate ventilation, and a lockable door.
So, what comes next? Will we all be served by robot butlers? Perhaps not, but technology will continue to influence our houses and lifestyles. The Internet of Things will continue to expand to govern more elements of our daily lives, silently monitoring our health and assuring our wellbeing.
Families will be able to utilise presence analytics to check the health of their elderly parents, scan temps to monitor our bodies, and employ biometrics to improve home security.
Most importantly, we are on the path to seeing more homes built quickly and economically, which will help to alleviate the global epidemic of homelessness and inadequate shelter. This is grounds for optimism and hope because having a roof over everyone’s head is not only a wonderful goal; it is a moral obligation.
Through collaboration, ingenuity, and compassion, we can create a brighter future where everyone has a place to call home. That, my friends, can only be a good thing.