The home of the not-so-distant future Image

The home of the not-so-distant future

By Lucas on May 15, 2017

Two very recent announcements have us wondering what the home of the future will look like, or rather, the home of the not-so-distant future. Tesla announced the opening of pre-orders for its solar roof tiles, and Alex Teichman, CEO of Lighthouse, is planning on putting a “brain” into your smart home.

Let’s start off with these Tesla solar roof tiles. Solar power is nothing new, but the look of the panels have never been popular, which is why everyone’s so excited about Tesla’s announcement. According to CEO Elon Musk, two of the four designs are available for pre-order; Textured and Smooth. These two tiles will hit the market in approximately six months.

Musk says that delivery and installation of the solar roof tiles will commence this year for US purchasers and in 2018 for overseas purchasers.

So, what’s the price? It’s estimated that the roof will cost $42 USD per square foot for active tiles, and around $11 USD for inactive tiles (not every tile on the roof will have cells).

When the tiles are installed, they are designed to look like a shingled roof. The tiles are transparent, allowing the sun to penetrate to the cells. When you look at the tiles on an angle, they appear opaque, so from the ground, it looks like you have an everyday, average roof.

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The tiles should generate enough energy to power your entire household, and Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0 can store excess energy in case of stronger demand or a power outage. According to Bloomberg, a 2,000 square foot home in New York with 40% coverage of solar roof tiles and battery backup would cost $50,000 USD after federal tax credits. Over the course of 30 years, $64,000 USD of energy costs will be saved.

Moving on to the inside of the home, Lighthouse is the latest in smart home monitoring technology. Today’s interactive smart home assistants still require a lot of control from you, so they’re not actually learning. Lighthouse can actually learn new things based on text and voice instructions. Sound scary? It kind of is.

But it’s also pretty cool. It’s taking home security and even child raising to a whole new level. Lighthouse uses 3D sensor technology and machine learning to recognize family members and detect when something is happening that should or shouldn’t be.   

You can set a variety of specific Pings so that you’re notified when something happens or doesn’t happen. For example, you can tell your Lighthouse "If you don't see the kids by 4pm on weekdays while I'm away, let me know" or "When the cat jumps on the kitchen table, send me a notification."

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How many years will it be before you have Lighthouse in your home? It won’t be years - try months. The first orders of Lighthouse are shipping in September of this year!

So, Tesla’s solar roof tiles are more affordable than everyone thought they would be and Lighthouse is a smart home assistant that can actually learn based on voiced instructions, and they’re both available this year.

How long will it be before Tesla’s breakthrough takes over the roofing industry? Will new homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) someday offer solar roof tiles as an upgrade or even as standard? When will builders and developers be offering Lighthouse or another smart home monitoring system as standard?

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