instagram envelope_alt facebook twitter search youtube_play whatsapp remove external_link loop2 arrow-down2

Connect: Solar roofs, 3D printed meals and furniture that changes colour are the future of homes…

Panel game: Nanoleaf Canvas lighting

IT USED to be that eco-friendly lifestyles had a reputation for belonging to quirky hemp-wearers. Thankfully, ‘being green’ has shed that stigma and these days being eco-minded is an integral part of living more consciously. It makes sense when you consider that seven in ten Brits admit they’d like a more eco-friendly home and 83 per cent are interested in new technology that would make their homes more planet-friendly.

That research from Smart Energy GB is part of a project that brought together a team of eco-enthusiasts, including actor and presenter Robert Llewellyn and futurologist Dr Ian Pearson, to visualise what the smart eco-home of the future might look like in a decade, based on existing or evolving innovations and technological advances. It may seem like this greener, less throwaway, life is a long way away but it’s not as far off as you might think.

Wall screens

House of 2030

In the future it will be possible to entirely redecorate or customise our living spaces without buying new fixtures or fittings thanks to wall screens that change colour and display customised landscapes using augmented or virtual reality.

In the pipeline

E Ink Prism

E Ink Prism is wallpaper that can move, change and disappear when you’re done with staring at stripes or geometric prints. Tiles made from E-Ink Prism e-paper will be able to change colour on demand and even display information and images.


Nanoleaf Canvas

From £89.99,

Smart modular wallpaper-cum-colour-changing LED light panels. Nanoleaf’s energy-efficient squares are touch-sensitive and can be switched on and off, dimmed or customised with a tap.

Solar roof

House of 2030

Houses will be equipped with solar panels disguised as roof tiles that have been retrofitted with painted-on solar panel coatings. These roof-mounted photovoltaic panels charge batteries during the day to run appliances at night.

In the pipeline

Tesla Solar Roof

On the tiles: The Tesla Solar Roof has tempered glass

Elon Musk’s forthcoming Solar Roof system is designed around multi-layered tempered glass tiles that comprise the entire roof surface. The tiles feature embedded solar photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s energy into useable electricity for your home, while offering an attractive alternative to those metal-clad conventional solar panels.


Nissan Energy Solar

From £7,600 (including panels),

Electric dream: The Nissan XStorage system

Nissan’s XStorage system is made from recycled batteries from Nissan’s Leaf electric cars. It charges up with a little help from solar panels, storing energy in a compact battery that mounts on to the wall of your house. Its job is to store excess energy and take advantage of it during the night, when there’s more demand.

3D printed food

House of 2030

We’ll be printing and cooking food using real ingredients to eat more healthily, reducing food waste. In the pipeline Columbia University in New York says it’s achieved the next culinary leap in 3D printed food with a machine capable of printing ‘digital food’ and cooking it using lasers and IR (infrared) technology. Food is distributed through a nozzle, combining up to six pastes.




3D print your meal using the Natural Machines Foodini to whip up a wide range of three-dimensional dishes. It deploys paste-like ingredients from stainless steel capsules and if users choose a specific Foodini recipe it’ll instruct on which ingredients to pop into the capsules.

Smart Mirror

House of 2030

Get an instant health check with a smart mirror that tracks your health statistics in real-time to help you keep in shape or fight illness.

In the pipeline

Artemis Smart Mirror

Unveiled this year, this voice-controlled device from Care OS immediately recognises a user through facial recognition, connects that person with purchased items and offers AR tutorials on how to use them alongside a range of wellness and beauty features. Users can also call in a doctor, try new hair colours, take a vision test and get updates on air quality to better understand the impact on your health. Researchers are also reportedly working on ways to use the collected data to notify a user of an underlying skin or posture issue.


HiMirror Mini Premium


Face value: The interactive HiMirror Mini Premium

This interactive and internet-connected vanity mirror comes with Alexa baked in, offers beauty tips, news, weather, social media and a no-holds-barred evaluation of your facial flaws, presenting a breakdown of your wrinkles, dark circles, red spots, dark spots, fine lines, pores and roughness. Warning: it’s pretty brutal.

Hydroponic garden

House of 2030

Living kitchens will feature hydroponic fruit, veg and herb gardens, with efficient use of lighting and nutrients providing fresh soil-free food to harvest at home, while reducing the number of trips to shops and improving our diet.

In the pipeline

Pick your own: Infarm grows produce in supermarkets

The fresh food aisles at your supermarket could be about to get a whole lot fresher if German company Infarm brings its vertical micro-farms to the UK. Currently in shops across Germany, Switzerland and France, its ‘pick-your-own’ produce efforts consist of refrigerators with shelving units, grow lights and hydroponic trays of nutrient-rich water to grow live salads, vegetables, fruit and herbs.




Hydroponic kits are revolutionising horticulture at home, allowing users to grow fuss-free food all-year round. The Botanium smart plant pot is a masterclass in how not to kill your plants. It automatically waters them several times a day with a tank that lasts weeks. It’s suitable for herbs and vegetables.

Smart Fabrics

House of 2030

Smart AI furniture and cushions made from reconfigurable materials allow living rooms to transform colour, texture and firmness via voice-command. This means there will be no need to replace old furniture and we’ll simply reconfigure what we have as needs change.

In the pipeline

Colour-changing fabric

Things have moved on since the days of the colour-changing tie-dye shirts. Researchers at the University of Central Florida have developed a colour-changing fabric that can be controlled with a smartphone or click of a button. When activated, an electric current flows through the metal micro-wires embedded in each individual thread raising their temperature and causing special pigments to change colour on demand.


LED colour-changing bench


This funky LED-equipped outdoor bench is one of the closest ways to get to chameleon-like furnishings… for now.