This AI-operated villa in the Czech Republic comes with panoramic views and needs no keys!

Artificial-intelligence controls Villa Sophia, designed by Coll Coll, which blooms at the top of a hill above Prague, Czech Republic. Described as the “center of the universe,” by its creators, Michaela Pankova and Karel Panek, the architecture of Villa Sophia really does seem to present itself as a sort of nucleus, quietly blending the omnipresence of today’s technology with timeless values of connectedness and sustainability. The minds behind the hideout, the villa’s habitants, aimed to integrate robust AI technology into each nook and cranny of the home while also ensuring that the villa embodied warmth and intimacy for social gatherings or alone time. 

The home incorporates impressive artificial intelligence throughout such as musical instruments that play themselves, lights that turn on without switches, along with verbal and haptic sensors that track your footsteps, your hand motions, and spoken word. Oh, and did we mention, this smart-house needs no keys! On the home’s AI technology, one of its creators, Michaela Pankova says, “The house is like a brain,” and the home certainly is smart. Aware of where everyone is inside the house, Villa Sophia’s AI system listens and adapts to the growing needs of the home’s residents so that just by inhabiting the home, everyone can enjoy the benefits that come with technological living. Room temperatures will adjust as soon as someone makes note of the cold. Come sunset, blue lighting dissipates so that the house provides optimal lighting for sleep. Deliveries always make it inside as the smart home can unlock and open doors after assessing who’s knocking. The home has as many technological capabilities as the human has thoughts, in this way, artificial and human intelligence work in tandem. 

Considering the home’s catalog of intellectual technology, sustainability and interconnection still breathe inside and outside Villa Sophia. The home is just as eco-friendly as it is tech-savvy, with responsibly sourced wood material and polyurethane floor finishing, the interior design makes the overall home that much more efficient and eco-conscious. From the rich, walnut wood finishes to the living space’s accessible ramp that slithers through a sloped chunk of the staircase, a seamless fusion of distinguished technological innovation with an acute awareness of the human’s urge to control pervade this villa.

Designer: Michaela Pankova and Karel Panek of Coll Coll

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This Apple Watch band lets you control your smartwatch without touching the screen!

Nobody’s ever really thought hard about this but there’s only one way to use the touchscreen on your Apple Watch – with the opposite hand. You can use either hand on your smartphone or tablet screen, but when you’ve got a watch strapped to your left-hand wrist, you can pretty much only control it with your right hand… and what do you do when the right hand’s busy holding bags, washing dishes, driving a car, wearing gloves, or petting your dog? Mudra has a pretty futuristic solution to that problem – you use sensors to control the watch without needing to touch it.

Working on a tech quite similar in outcome to the Google Soli chip found in the Pixel 4, the Mudra is a wristband for the Apple Watch that comes with its set of sensors that pick up hand gestures by measuring nerve activity in your wrist. The Mudra band allows you to use your watch without touching it, but more importantly, it gives you the ability to use your left-hand to control parts of the Watch experience, being able to snooze alarms, accept or reject calls, play/pause/skip music tracks, or even playing an old-fashioned game of Snake. The band picks up directly on gestures sent to your wrist via the motor nerve, almost forming a brain-to-device interface. State-of-the-art electrodes in the band can decode different signals, telling apart a variety of gestures that give you complete control over your watch (fun fact, Mudra translates to ‘gesture’ in Sanskrit). The band works with all generations of the Apple Watch, connecting to them via Bluetooth, and batteries inside the Mudra allow it to work for over two days before needing to be charged using a proprietary contact-based charger.

Designed to be a convenience, but with the potential of being much more, the Mudra band’s sensor technology has a wide variety of applications. Not only is it great for when your hands are occupied, it’s also extremely useful for the disabled (who can still send gesture-instructions through their motor nerves), and even offers a great way to interface with a screen without having to look at it, potentially making the Apple Watch safe to use while driving too!

Designer: Wearable Devices Ltd.

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