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. Design

    How 'Maintainers,' Not 'Innovators,' Make the World Turn

    We need more stories about the labor that sustains society, a group of scholars say.

  2. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  3. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  4. Environment

    The Rise, Fall, and Possible Rebirth of 100 Resilient Cities

    Internal communications shed new light on the Rockefeller Foundation’s decision to stop funding the global climate nonprofit, and hint at what might come next.

  5. Equity

    Why I Found My Community in a Starbucks

    I was reluctant to support a corporate chain. But in my neighborhood, it’s one of the only places I could have formed a relationship with someone like Sammy.

×