3D-printed homes, underwater cities in future?

LONDON • It may be science fiction now, but in the next century, humans will have the option to live in underwater cities, "Earthscrapers" that are 25 storeys below ground and 3D-printed homes, according to a new report on life in the future.

The SmartThings Future Living Report, written by a group of academics and futurologists, suggests that "bubble cities" will be created underwater, making the depths habitable for human beings.

It also says personal drones will become a staple mode of transport, as well as being used as futuristic "mules" to carry entire homes around the world for holidays.

Leading British space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who co-authored the report commissioned by Samsung-owned Internet of Things firm SmartThings, said: "Our lives today are almost unrecognisable from those a century ago. The Internet has revolutionised the way we communicate, learn and control our lives.

"Just 10 years ago, technology like SmartThings would have been inconceivable. Yet, today, developments like this let us monitor, control and secure our living spaces with the touch of a smartphone. Over the next century, we will witness further seismic shifts in the way we live and interact with our surroundings."

In the workplace, holograms will enable virtual meetings to take place. In addition, 3D-printed food will become smarter, with the ability to download dishes from favourite chefs and print a cordon-bleu banquet at the touch of a button.

Other professional expertise will be available in the home, in the form of robotic doctors, London's Daily Mail reported.

Home "medi-pods" will provide people with a digital medical diagnosis and supply medicine if needed.

The Moon and Mars would also have been colonised in the next 100 years, with commercial flights into space a regular occurrence, alongside smarter homes that will be able to house LED-screen walls that can be changed to suit the prevailing mood, removing the need to redecorate.

The report also suggested that not only will furniture within homes become 3D-printed, but replicas of entire houses and structures as well.

SmartThings UK managing director James Monighan said: "The smartphone revolution is already ushering in the smart home revolution, which will have massively positive implications on how we live.

"Our homes are becoming smarter and can now detect the presence of things like people, pets, smoke, humidity, lighting and moisture. And this is just the beginning."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2016, with the headline '3D-printed homes, underwater cities in future?'. Print Edition | Subscribe