What happens if you ask a normal family to boldly go where no one has gone before – to live in the future?[ps2id id=’magnet’/]
This five-part series transforms a family’s home from top to bottom, filling it with futuristic technology and gadgets. As well as having cutting-edge technology and gadgets to play with, the family will be challenged by scenarios likely to come in the next 20 to 50 years.
Overseen by expert Chris Sanderson, the family will discover how we may work, rest and play, as well as how we may eat, travel, stay healthy and power our homes.
In the first episode, the family discover what rest and relaxation will be like, as they road test some of the latest sleep-enabling gadgets, designed to help them fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, stop snoring, and monitor the quality of their kip. There are even brainwave-controlled meditation games.
The programme also reveals what a fully automated house is like, with everything from the blinds and the lights to the music and the TV controlled from a ‘smart’ device. And forget about a front door key; the house now has a computer-controlled thumb print door entry system!
For the first time, youngest son Leon gets a space all to himself – a bedroom in the garden – while mum Michele tries out the latest driver-aided cars, which do the difficult job of parallel parking for her, and presenter Chris finds out about the future of driverless cars.
There are also robot lawnmowers that cut the grass by themselves and a mini power station installed in the house to provide electricity for the new technological toys.
It’s all change for junior exec Joel as he’s given a home office packed with the cutting-edge technology that will be coming to our workplaces (and growing number of home offices) in the future.
There’s everything from pocket-sized virtual laser keyboards to robots on wheels that let you ‘walk around’ an office in California while sitting on the sofa in Sheffield. Joel also discovers how sci-fi is becoming a reality, with computers you can control with magic wands.
Meanwhile, the run-down family MOT testing centre business gets an overhaul, as expert presenter and futurist Chris Sanderson sets them up with their own electric charging point, and mechanic Leon discovers the secrets behind the future of both electric and hydrogen-powered cars.
But the most exciting gadgets are the 3D printers, allowing the family to ‘print’ solid objects.
Meanwhile, life gets a little easier for Mum and Dad as they are given robots that wash the floor and do the vacuuming. There’s also a cool new kitchen to speed Michele’s mountain of laundry, and a visit to a UK company that’s invented a ‘virtually waterless’ washing machine.
There are also apps that help with the shopping; a bath that runs itself to your chosen temperature, depth and bubble consistency; and vast solar farms that turn the power of the sun into unlimited energy.
The family discover the fun of the future as they get to grips with brainwave-controlled video games (including archery and tug of war) and discover how our minds might soon be altering movie endings.
They also try exercise bikes which combine the best of the gym with gaming technology to encourage us to train harder, and the show reveals how similar ideas could be used to save lives in hospitals.
On a day trip to London to explore the world of future fashion, the family try on designer dresses that feature in-built light shows, and instant T-shirts that come out of a spray can – not to mention pants to protect you from passing wind. Teenager Miah gets to design her own little black dress online – but has to suffer mum Michele monitoring her with home-surveillance technology.
There’s also a look at how holidays will continue to change, from augmented reality travel guides on smart phones to super-small hotel rooms and the planes of tomorrow – which are built like cruise ships and promise to take passengers to Tokyo in a little over two hours.
There’s even some cool tech for four-year-old grandson Lucas to play with.
The family face up to the reality of the food in the future.
Mum Michele tackles the latest hi-tech gadgets making the move from restaurants to home kitchens, including slow-cook water baths that take an hour to cook the perfect steak, and liquid nitrogen machines that flash-freeze food – perfect for making ice cream in ten seconds.
There are also super-fast soup makers and hot composters that turn a year-long job into one that takes two weeks.
The family are also kitted out with the latest home-grow gadgets, including an aquaponics system that provides a self-sustaining fish farm in their greenhouse, a vertical veg patch for their garden wall (perfect for people with no growing space), and a soil-free growing machine invented by NASA They also discover how farming could become a high-rise urban industry.
The family get to play with the weird and the wacky, from breathable chocolate to see-through toasters and temperamental touch-free kitchen-roll dispensers.
But the Pereras are in for a shock when they discover that meat will be off the menu in 2050 because of rising food prices…
And they’re not too impressed with the alternatives, as ‘food futurologist’ Dr Morgaine Gaye gets the family to try out future gourmet delights and cook up an insect meal, and we find out about a future that promises everything from lab-grown steaks to Japanese ‘crap’ burgers.
The family are put through their paces, to get fit to face the future using some of the latest gadgets and gizmos, including electric bikes to get them out of their cars.
But, to test if they really work, the family are set some tough challenges: to take on pro-cyclists on Sheffield’s notorious hills and do the weekly family supermarket shop on two wheels.
There are also computers to take over the jobs that humans used to do, from a prototype robot dietician that talks to you as it monitors what you eat and how you exercise, to a computerised version of a personal fitness coach to monitor and map your exercise regime.
Super-fit Joel also tests out scientifically designed post-workout suits created to get your body back in shape, promising 50% less fatigue!
In the newly-futurised bathroom there’s a £5000 mirror that monitors your health by reading your weight, BMI and body fat percentage (as well as displaying news, weather and social media sites), and a toilet that gives you an intimate ‘wash and blow dry’.
Meanwhile, the family are on a diet of ‘super shakes’ – tipped to take off in the next decade as smoothies did in the last one – complete with spirulina, raw cocoa and bee pollen. Can it help diabetic dad Tony control his blood-sugar level?
And there are more edible medicals, as the family experiment with Japanese sweets that promise to boost your collagen or even make your breasts grow.