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. Equity

    CityLab University: Inclusionary Zoning

    You’ve seen the term. But do you really know what it means? Here’s your essential primer.

  2. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  3. An illustration shows two alleys in Detroit.
    Design

    Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

    “We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”

  4. Equity

    Mobile Home Owners Find a Lifeline Against Displacement

    When a landlord sells a mobile home park, it can upend an entire community. Through co-ops, residents are finding a way to stay where they live and control their rent costs.

  5. Equity

    The ‘War on Poverty’ Isn’t Over, and Kids Are Losing

    Federal spending on America’s children is heading down, and the drop in funding could be dramatic.