Every home designer aspires to create a stylish home that speaks to them. Imagine if the furniture really could talk. You might think that sounds ridiculous, but the concept is not that far off. Although you may not yet be able to carry on a conversation with your sofa, today's smart furniture offers much more than its initial function. Since the success of smart speakers, featuring Google Assistant or Alexa technology, furniture manufacturers are striving to incorporate innovative technology into their designs. The outcome is mattresses, coffee tables, storage and sofas that are convenient, functional and high-tech, not to mention fashionable.


In the decades to come, the iron, clothes dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, refrigerator and others would make their appearance. Before the invention of these appliances, ordinary household chores, which currently take approximately a couple hours to complete, would literally take all day.

WHAT IS SMART FURNITURE

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Furniture that incorporates technology is called smart furniture. It is patterned after contemporary furniture and includes integrated electronic intelligence. This furniture is considered intelligent as well as stylish; it makes life at home more comfortable and convenient. Smart furniture is the future trend of international furniture and a vital part of a new way of life.

 

There is a variety of smart furniture available. You can furnish your living room with a sofa that sports built-in surround sound and choose from a variety of coffee and end tables that double as charging stations for your phone or tablet. If you want to get fancy, you can get a coffee table in which the table top is also a touch-screen computer. Smart furniture is stylish, convenient and innovative and adds class and functionality to any home.

SMART HOMES AND THE IOT

The smart home will have a tremendous impact on how we live and provide big business for tech entrepreneurs and companies. Consider all of the devices that connect to the Internet. Tech companies develop software programs for these devices with the goal of making life easier. Think about every place where you might benefit from connected devices away from home. Vehicles could be equipped with devices that monitors wear on tires. This information can be reported to the cloud to let the driver know when it is time to change or realign the tires. A Fitbit records your steps and makes suggestions to improve your health. Factory machinery may send out performance reports and then receive adjustments to improve production rates.

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These are all examples of smart devices. Every one of them, including gadgets in the smart home group, belong to the larger classification known as the Internet of Things, (IoT). In a smart home, all household appliances and devices will be connected in the IoT. Soon, it might be possible to control everything within your home with your tablet or smartphone.

 

Gartner Technology says there will probably be about 26 billion connected gadgets in homes by 2020 with a total market value of $300 billion. That's not hard to imagine when you factor in the immensity of the IoT already. In 2016, global spending for IoT appliances and gadgets across all markets, home and business, was estimated at $737 billion. By 2021, this amount is predicted to increase to $1.4 trillion. McKinsey Global Institute believes that the IoT will have an economic influence between $4 and $11 trillion on the overall economy by 2025, when considering its influence in areas, such as health, retail, manufacturing and smart homes.

SMART HOME HISTORY

The thought of decreasing manual labor through machines is not a new concept. Consider the common place washing machine that soaks, washes, rinses and wrings out your laundry for you and the dryer machine that automatically dries that laundry for you. The idea of a home that could decrease work for its occupants was introduced to homemakers in the early 20th century when the first vacuum cleaner was marketed in 1901, and the electric washer in 1904.


In 1909, E. M. Forster published  a work of science fiction titled, "The Machine Stops."  In this work, humans live underground and depend on machines to provide all of their needs. The story foretold advances, like video conferencing and instant messaging. In 1948, George Orwell's book, "1984," portrayed everyone's home with a telescreen and a voice-operated gadget referred to as a speakwrite. Today, we call this a voice assistant.


Other industries have also been a part of this collective consciousness for a long time. Robert Anderson invented the first electric car in 1832. Believe it or not, nearly one third of all vehicles were electric by 1900. Unfortunately, electric cars of that time period were not efficient. Their top speed was only 20 mph, and they could only go 30 or 40 miles before needing to be recharged. In 1908, Henry Ford introduced the Model T, which ran on gasoline and was far more efficient, and by 1935, the electric vehicle was almost non-existent. The electric vehicle made a comeback in 1997 with the release of the Toyota Prius.


Like the electric car, the smart home has endured false starts. Today, we consider home computers useful for creating spreadsheets, writing documents or browsing the Internet. A Westinghouse engineer built the first home computer called ECHO IV in 1966. This computer was developed to control temperature in the home, create shopping lists and switch appliances off or on. However, the ECHO IV never commercially shipped. Over the decades, home technology slowly emerged. In 1984, the term "smart home" was coined by the National Association of Homebuilders to refer to a niche group that supported incorporating tech solutions into the homebuilding procedure.

BEST PIECES OF SMART FURNITURE

Many household devices are receiving a "smart" upgrade these days. Currently available are smart coffee makers, smart bulbs and smart dishwashers, to name a few. It is only logical that furniture would follow suit. Smart furniture will make everyday tasks more convenient and life more comfortable. From tables that can charge your electronics to nightstands that imitate the sunrise, here is the best high-tech furniture either currently on the market, or in the design stages with the promise of release in the near future.

WIRELESS CHARGING TABLE

The FurniQi wireless charging end table reduces the amount of wires displayed in the home. The stylish bamboo table sports a Qi wireless charging space marked indiscreetly via laser engraving. The table will charge phones and other gadgets. The FurniQi comes with optional sound notification and is easy to use in the dark.

​SLEEP MONITOR MATTRESS

​The ReST Bed features a smart mattress with five zones, each correlating to different parts of the body:  legs, hips, lumbar, shoulders and the head. With the ReST app, the support level of each zone can be customized.  The mattress records your pressure profile and shape, automatically adjusting firmness as necessary while you sleep. The ReST app will report your individual sleep data so you can study your sleep patterns. ReST bed will also feature the capability to connect with other smart devices, like heating, home assistants and lighting.

​SURROUND SOUND SOFA

​Natuzzi's Surround Sofa sports a touch-operated recliner that allows you to adjust the headrest, footrest and seat. More impressively, there is a surround-sound system in the corner area of the sofa that can be operated with an MP3 docking station or via Bluetooth.

​SOBRO COOLER COFFEE TABLE

​This glass-top coffee table features touch controls, USB  and 12V charging ports, Bluetooth speakers and even a refrigerated drawer to store cold drinks.  It also sports some LED lighting below for enhanced ambience.

​BLUETOOTH SPEAKER TABLE

​Introducing the Bluetooth Speaker Sound Table from KAMARQ. This innovative furniture sports a stylish design that is perfectly matched with its top-notch speaker system. The Sound Table incorporates the dining table with household speakers.

BABY SOOTHING CRIB

​The Snoo Smart Sleeper is designed to enhance an infants' sleep and calm them during periods of fussiness. According to studies, newborns will begin to sleep better within a couple of days using this crib. It is supposed to respond to a fussy baby with white noise and rocking. If the baby's fussing increases, the rocking speeds up, and the white noise volume increases to comfort the infant. The Snoo can be controlled from a smartphone app.

​COFFEE TABLE COMPUTER

​The Mesa touch-screen coffee table is a coffee table and 43 inch touch-screen computer all-in-one. You can use it to play digital games, read newspapers or browse the web. Furthermore, it can be customized  to operate other things in the home including heat, security and lights via voice recognition.

​SMART SLEEP NIGHTSTAND

​Get enhanced sleep with the Curvilux Smart Sleep Nightstand. This stand simulates the sunrise every morning, causing your body to shut down melatonin production so you awaken feeling refreshed and relaxed. This nightstand also includes wireless charging for up to three devices at a time. You can control everything from an app, and that includes the lock on the drawer.

CONCLUSION

Think of all the times when you've attempted to use your cell phone only to find that the battery is low or dead because you forgot to charge it. If you are like many people, you probably have a portable charger in your possession at all times. Now, consider how much more convenient life would be if we no longer had to consciously remember to charge our devices. With smart furniture, charging gadgets is just one of many daily hassles that will disappear.

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