Remember those cartoons where someone had the “tent in a can?” Well, this is pretty much just that. Except instead of a tent, it’s a fully functioning apartment. Welcome to the age of the “apartment in a box.”
It’s all happening at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT Media Lab’s Changing Places group is working to transform urban living as we know it. They have been working to develop a CityHome, a small “hyper-efficient” and “technology-enabled” apartment. This tiny apartment utilizes robotic technology to move built-in furniture and wall units to create different functional spaces. So, a 200-square foot space can reconfigure itself to function as a space three times its size.
A company called Ori Systems is marketing a new line of robotic furniture that can reconfigure its shape and function on demand. The price point of this new furniture-tech starts at $10,000. The unit is equipped with a control panel where you can input instructions on what type of space you want at that moment. You can even hook it up to your Amazon Alexa or smart phone.
Pretty soon, you will be able to receive a large flat package in the mail containing your entire living room set. Picture the Ikea of the future world. The unit is made to be assembled on site, and after it is put together it simply needs to be plugged in. With the simple installation of a linear track on your floor, you could have a shape shifting high-efficiency apartment space. A total game changer for modern apartment living.
So far, the company is only taking pre-orders, so it might be a while before you get one of these bad boys in your apartment. But fear not, the project is in development. Just imagine your bedroom being able to also function as your living room, office or kitchen without feeling like you live in a studio apartment. With the push of a button, or even a voice command on your phone, you could hide or expose your entire bed and set up your office space for work.
This might seem like a futuristic fantasy, but the time is coming. Home technology is becoming more efficient as we integrate tech more and more into our daily lives. Pretty soon we could all be living in our favorite science fiction movie. But for now, I’m happy with not having to plug in all my furniture.