This Big Brother-esque project by Nottingham University brings to life something I’ve always wanted to do; fill a house to the brim with technology and automation to find out what is REALLY useful, what is fun gadget, and what actually becomes annoying after a while.
The Parnell family, of Sheffield, will spend six months in their hi-tech home, where their every move will be followed for the University of Nottingham study.
Tags will monitor which rooms they use for three periods of two weeks. The five-bedroom house has seven TVs, five bathrooms, self-cleaning windows and a blow-up dummy which irons shirts.
The aim is to examine “how modern families are living in houses”, said father Nick Parnell.
I’m not sure about the ironing blow-up doll, but otherwise, I wouldn’t complain if I had (successfully) self-cleaning windows. The Lawrence Moorings birds have had the runs recently, and from up here on the top floor, it’s not exactly easy to clean the windows outside!
Also, the one-bathroom-per-person concept doesn’t enchant me so much. When I was young, we happily shared a single double-sink bathroom between 4 girls and my parents. Even though the idea of never having to deal with anyone else’s toothbrush in my toothbrush holder and no one else’s hair in my hairbrush sounds great, it certainly doesn’t teach anyone to compromise and share space with others. I’ve often noticed only-child friends being much harder work in situations where we had to share space and resources, whether in a single-day team project or a long-term house share. Do we really want to make tomorrow’s adults even less flexible and willing to compromise?
Seven TVs – two TVs more than there are people in the house – is simply ridiculous. People waste enough time watching total mind-numbing crap on TV, putting one in every room is just sad. When I’m taking a bath, I want to get AWAY from the world, not have it shoved in my face. Where’s the 7th one? By the toilet? Now that could be fun! Parce que regarder les shows américains, ça me fait chier de toute façon…
I’d certainly be curious to see the room-usage patterns over those weeks of monitoring. I wonder if they can also track who hogs the TV remote control the most? Now, multiple remote controls, that would be a great way to bring peace to a home!
Can’t help but note that “Three taps in kitchen – for hot, cold and filtered drinking water” is a completely and utterly shite idea! Will Britain never catch on that hot and cold water should come out of a single tap and should have a mixer way down the pipe to avoid burning yourself when doing the dishes!? If there’s one thing North American houses have right, it’s kitchens! Water tanks and the likes tend to be much more wasteful in energy but at least you never have to click the hot water back on to jump in the shower, and never have to burn yourself because the hot water and cold water aren’t mixed when they come out of the sink tap!