How Connected Homes Will Give Rise To Quantified Families

How Connected Homes Will Give Rise To Quantified Families

A MIT Tech Review presentation reveals new ideas on the future of households.

Lara Piras
  • 20 june 2014

Imagine a near future where the walls of your home would notify you when a light has been left on, or remind you of the last time your family all sat down at the table together. These ideas could soon become reality with the work from associate professor Kamin Whitehouse at the University of Virginia.

‘If Homes Could Talk’ is a presentation by MIT Technology Review that reveals the early findings from Whitehouse’s research team and explores what the connected household of the future could look like.

The team proposes the use of software in hooked up to sensors installed in wall panels that allows users to monitor the activities of household members. By recording how tall these people are and analyzing their behavior, such as how many times they wash up, the system will be able to keep a running tab on everyone’s activities.

Such an in-home monitoring system could decrease the amount of gas, electricity and water a household consumes, which is great, but undoubtedly people could see it as an invasion of privacy. Whether it builds or decreases tension in a household remains to be seen.


It could also be used to monitor if elderly people throughout the day, and could help roommates negotiate their energy bills by giving each person a clear breakdown of each person’s consumption.

As the Internet of Things evolves, capabilities move beyond the quantified self to the quantified human network. Perhaps we should start looking at ways to further monitor human activities as a group instead of as individuals to pre-empt future problems as we begin to live in smaller and smaller spaces.

Watch the full presentation here.

[h/t] WSJ, MIT


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