Building Responsive Systems Helps Us Live More Efficiently [Future Of Home Living]

Building Responsive Systems Helps Us Live More Efficiently [Future Of Home Living]

PSFK Labs examines new technologies that are providing a better way to filter and prioritize content and information.

  • 11 august 2013

As life becomes more fast-paced, we will begin to require more of our technologies than simple entertainment or information – they will begin to work in our favor. “Responsive technologies can also provide a better way to filter and prioritize content and information, ensuring that only the most relevant content comes to the fore,” says Mike Milley, global director of the Lifestyle Research Lab and Samsung Electronics.

In a trend from our Future of Home Living report we’re calling Responsive Systems, where Internet-enabled products are delivering greater convenience and efficiency to people’s lives by informing residents about performance, condition and needs of the home and the things within it, we have identified the following manifestations.


The Wi-Fi-enabled Nest Thermostat utilizes a built-in light sensor to detect direct sunlight and will modify the thermostat’s behavior accordingly to save both money and energy. The ‘Sunblock’ feature saves energy by preventing the home’s cooling or heating system from switching on when direct sunlight heats the surroundings, creating an inaccurate indication of temperature. In addition to the direct sunlight fix, Nest is rolling out a “Cool to Dry” feature that turns on the home’s air conditioning system when the humidity sensor within the thermostat detects high humidity levels. Says Microsoft’s Chief Storyteller Steve Clayton, “Things like Nest are a really interesting step on that journey because it starts to bring more intelligence into the home.”


Milkmaid is a sensor-laden milk jug designed and created by Stephanie Burns that sends SMS messages to owners when milk supplies are almost out or have gone off. Stored inside the fridge, the quart-sized glass container sits on a plastic base containing weight, temperature and pH sensors, a GSM radio module, SIM card and antenna. Monitoring both milk quantity and food safety conditions, the base texts a predesignated mobile number whenever more milk should be picked up at the store. A corresponding iPhone app provides instant access to milk supply information at any time.


Products that can sense and ‘learn’ the environment around them fall under a larger theme we’re calling Adaptive, which examines how customizable solutions for the home are being designed to accommodate a wider range of needs throughout the day and week, bringing greater functionality and flexibility to urban lifestyles.



PSFK has announced the latest in a series of trend reports. Following studies into retailsocial mediagamingwork and mobile, the PSFK Labs consulting team have generated the Future of Home Living report. That report manifests as a free summary presentation, an in-depth downloadable PDF and an exhibition in New York City that runs to August 16.

RSVP below to take a tour of the exhibition at 101W15th.


+Electronics & Gadgets
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