MIT Media Lab

And you can control it all with voice and gesture commands.

What if you only had to buy one piece of furniture to make your tiny apartment abundantly livable?

CityHome, a new project from MIT Media Lab’s Changing Places group, promises to make that fantasy a reality. The highly transformable device, loaded with built-in sensors, motors, and LED lights, promises to make a 200 sq.ft. apartment feel three times larger.

What is it, exactly? Essentially a bed, office desk, dining table, kitchen counter, stove top, and storage space, all tucked into a closet-sized module. Here’s the fun part —whatever you need, just ask, literally. CityHome is controllable by voice, touch, and gestures. The device itself can even slide over a few feet to alter the dimensions of the spaces—you might toggle between a bigger bedroom or a bigger bathroom, for example. 

In terms of how much CityHome might cost for the average consumer, lead researcher Kent Larson won’t give any concrete numbers. He argues that if it’s mass-produced, the technology will certainly be affordable—especially when compared to the cost of sustaining larger apartments. Larson is already talking with manufacturers about bringing CityHome to market.

In this demo, watch how CityHome can accommodate dinner gatherings, shower time, and impromptu dance parties.


About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Maps

    America's Loneliest Roads, Mapped

    An interactive map highlights the least traveled routes in the country—and some of the most scenic.

  2. A self-driving Volvo SUV in Scottsdale, Arizona. The company has halted testing of its autonomous vehicle program in the wake of a fatal crash on Sunday.

    How the Self-Driving Dream Might Become a Nightmare

    What will happen if we just accept that a certain number of pedestrian deaths are an inevitable part of adopting autonomous vehicles?

  3. A young refugee from Kosovo stands in front of a map of Hungary with her teacher.

    Who Maps the World?

    Too often, men. And money. But a team of OpenStreetMap users is working to draw new cartographic lines, making maps that more accurately—and equitably—reflect our space.

  4. Equity

    The Austin Bombings Were Terrifying. But Were They 'Terrorism'?

    Absent a motive, the serial bombing attacks in Texas hadn’t been labeled with the term. Now, police say the suspect has been killed.

  5. POV

    The Gateway Project Doesn't Need Trump's Approval

    The $30 billion rail tunnel project may be a victim of President Trump’s feud with Democrats. But New York and New Jersey could still save it.