Forging the Home of the Future

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  • 21 December 2015
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Smart, connected devices are reshaping the home, aiming to transform and improve our lives by connecting, controlling and automating every “thing” in them. A vision first seen with the Jetsons over 50 years ago, is slowly but surely becoming a reality. We’ve embraced the complexities of the Internet of Things, with the initial wave of connected devices unleashing huge productivity gains and truly mesmerizing features. As we now enter an age of ubiquity, what will it take to propel us in to a Jetsons-esque lifestyle?

To find out, we brought together the FORGE Collective to understand and expose the hurdles we still face through time-boxed brainstorms and empathy-driven exercises focused on the prompt:

How might technology enable the home we didn’t even know was possible?


FORGE events unite people from across industries and disciplines to spark powerful ideas and redefine what innovation can be in the workplace and in our everyday lives.
Built upon the guiding principles of The Foundry, this collective of change agents seek to understand, brainstorm, empathize, iterate and solution on topics that are top of mind.
Harness the spaces and tools at Revel HQ on the first Wednesday of each month.


Medium  If it’s in the home, it’s in play: leverage all mediums at your disposal to craft an amazing experience from wearables and smartphones to smart hubs, appliances, and monitoring systems.
Phases  All aspects of the home are in play: from lounging with the family, to running a business, no detail is too small. Consider the possibilities enabled by technology when prototyping your concept.
Personas All personas are in play: depending on when it is, what it is and where it is, people define “amazing” differently. Use the spectrums to help refine your focus.
Senses  All senses are in play: Sight, smell, touch, sound & taste. We see more success when we play to more than one at once.


Our group of 25+, with varying degrees of technology experience, care more about simplicity and usability, and less about elaborate features and automation. Through one-on-one interviews they recognized what discouraged them from adopting more connected home devices. From a long, complex setup process, to confusing app interfaces, they want time back to actually enjoy their homes and not spend hours figuring out why their smart light bulbs won’t dim when their smart TV turns on to watch a movie. Or why resetting the clocks on the stove and microwave after the power goes out is still a thing?


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What We Care About

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The value isn’t just about defying the laws of physics, but helping us create a better tomorrow. The wealth of potential knowledge from the data we collect seems limitless, bringing another level of value going beyond just automating monotonous tasks. For example, harvesting natural energy by combining external weather data and other environmental factors in real-time can save energy. Or by saving money by combining a connected thermostat, blinds and lights, heating and cooling your home when needed, creating less wasted energy and saving money.

But that value can’t be unlocked until all of the data collected on a seemingly endless list of connected devices is consolidated for us to make decisions. The crux of turning data into knowledge is to remove the barrier of fragmentation. One location, one voice of reason to guide us to a new, better way of living.

Solutions We Seek

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On the surface, our participants valued various forms of linear, measurable benefits like saving time and money. But we dug deeper. Why do we want more time? How can simplifying the experience in order to create more value?

We found the real appeal comes back to basic human interaction. We all love our devices and staying connected. But we want to unplug and detach from our devices without worry. A connected home should allow us to be human, again. And give us more time with friends and family. After all, technology is only as good as the outcome it creates.

After revealing the foundation a connected home can provide, the participants created prototypes to help accomplish the goal of a simple, integrated, cohesive home.


The future of the connected home relies on simple, comprehensive solutions where each “thing” doesn’t require another app on our smartphone. Upgrades need to be simple and automatic. And they should empower users to discover news ways to improve their quality of life today, and tomorrow. Finally give them control, not only of their lights and door locks, but of their data and privacy and provide support when things go wrong. There’s just no place like [the connected] home.


All the ingredients you need to host your own FORGE event on the Connected Home. Spark your own creativity and bring new ideas to life.

INSPIRATION Use Cases to kick start the creativity.
WORKBOOK Download the Workbook.
SURVEY Find out how you did.
PROTOTYPE KIT Grab items like pipe cleaners & Playdoh to let people explore.


The next installment of the FORGE on January 6


Contributed by Tim Bowman and Nick Buckley. 78% of US



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