Can you imagine a kitchen that helps you plan meals? Shows you how to cook? Scans your food choices and orders foods from your grocer based on your family's health goals? These questions may seem like scenes imagined from the Jetsons, but they're nearly a reality with help from companies like TELUS.
Recently my family and I experienced the TELUS Future Home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We felt like we had just stepped outside of Doc Brown's DeLorean into a scene of a not too distant future. Our tour from start to finish was dream-like, from the first step through the Smart home entry through to the office of the future, we were sold! It ain't 1985 any more!
The Top 3 Highlights from the TELUS Future Home
For those that know me, three of my four pillars from the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto include Family, Fitness/Food, and Finances. I found myself experiencing TELUS' home of the future through these filters, wondering how families can benefit from these incredible technological advances and why we ought to be really excited. Here's a few things that jumped out at me…
#1. The Smart Entry and your family's safety
If you are a parent like me, you probably have found yourself frustrated by your preteen's lack of attention to detail.
Those moments in life where you've told them over and over the importance of letting you know when they have returned home from a day at school, a weekend get-together with friends or simply heading out to play at the park. But of course, kids will be kids, and they forget how stressed out we can be as parents. But not anymore…
Imagine an entrance to your home which uses any or all the following technologies: bio-metrics, retina scanning and finger print scanning. Your child returns home and the house sends you a text or video message letting you know they've returned home safe and sound. Awesome, right?
And what about those UPS deliveries that you always just seem to miss?
Now your Smart Home entryway will tell you via an app or text that you missed a delivery, but give you the option to re-book a follow-up delivery at a time that you decide. Freaking cool!
#2. The Smart Kitchen and your family's health
Back in 1962, when the Jetsons first aired, the show painted an epic picture of futuristic kitchens. Gone by the wayside were TV dinners and no more scrambling to make meals, instead you could simply speak your order out loud to the computer and ‘poof', your meal appeared cooked to perfection.
Now the Smart Kitchen of our future might not be as automatic as the Jetsons, but it isn't that far off. There were 3 distinct features I absolutely love and can't wait to get in my kitchen some day in the not-so-distant future.
The Interactive Meal Planner
Most of the people I connect with daily want to eat healthier but aren't sure of how to do it or where to start. The kitchen of the future will guide you and your family's food decisions based on your health and wellness goals.
The connectivity that TELUS fiber optic (high speeds of 150Mb per second) will allow instant access to a database of recipes. Based on your family's dietary preferences, taking into account any and all food allergies or sensitivities, the interactive meal planner will customize your meal plans to suit.
Take this one step further, and the meal planner will compile the list of needed foods and place the order with your grocer, requesting a delivery on a day and time that you choose. Crazy right? Not really… it's coming. And just think, you won't be as tempted to throw those bags of chips and cookies into the cart if you aren't required to go and do the shopping.
Let's be honest, we all would love the ability to work with a nutritionist and get the help to create a food plan that would optimize our health on so many levels. However, if you had to drive weekly to meet them, how likely would you be to use their services? Exactly. Now you can connect with them in your home, sharing with them the data from your past meals.
And to make this Smart Kitchen smarter, your meal preparation information will be sent to your Smart Stove….
The Smart stove
The stoves of the future will not only connect to the internet to give you instructional videos and recipes, but will also control the temperature based on the meals you're preparing. whether you a Master Chef or a meal prep novice, the stove will help you every step of the way.
I remember in my early 20's I was very much a creature of habit. I cooked the same thing all the time – chicken, broccoli and rice… oh my! Many of us fall into this pattern based on finding comfort in doing what we know. The stove of the future will break down that fear factor associated with trying new things, and will help with making the process fun, healthy and bottom-line, easy.
Just think. The interactive meal planner already helped you plan this week's meal, has ordered the necessary foods from your local grocer and knowing the recipe's cooking instructions, the stove already knows that the roast you are cooking will need varied heat and will automatically make the adjustments for you on the fly.
Sign me up! That's my kind of cooking.
The Nutritional Scanner
A counter-top nutritional scanner will be the coolest toy in the kitchen. Imagine placing any food or drink item on the scanner and instantly having access to the nutritional information as well receive recipes that use those products. In addition, as a dad, one of the best uses of the scanner is having my kids better understand the nutritional values of the foods they’re eating.
This tool will make it easier to track your health and nutritional information allowing you to stay on track with your goals. If you want to, the information collected by your smart kitchen can share this info with your nutritionist or healthcare provider if you’re having health issues (can tie into a nutritional plan for you). And most importantly, the WIIFM, the Smart Kitchen helps you make healthier choices with healthier foods.
#3. The Smart Home Office and your family's quality of life
This provides huge implications for working at home, but also for health.
Imagine the time you'll save when you can video conference directly with your doctor. No more wasted time traveling, waiting in the waiting room, and if you're sick, you're off to another specialist… from your own home you can connect with all your team of health providers, including your nutritionist, dietitian and even your personal trainer.
So, do you feel the future is looking friendly?
An entryway that notifies you when your kids are home, a kitchen that helps you nourish your family with the best meal options and an office space that allows connects you with the world… just a few of many features yet to come in the coming years. With companies like TELUS leading the charge, my family is feeling both excited and optimistic for what the future holds.