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Alexa, Take me Home.

Tuesday 6th June

I was Bruce Wayne! I was Marty Mcfly! I was Wallace from Wallace & Grommit or Jason Bradbury from the gadget show – same person? Either way I was ready to be inspired on this mid-May morning five minutes before ‘The Future Home’ showcase from ‘Unruly’.

Unruly are a media owner, SSP and now futurists, and have created a 2000sqft ‘Home of the future’ in their office to show off, basically. I found their HQ on Whitechapel High Street and there was nothing unsettling about the set up so far, except for the vastness of the space, the astro-turf floor and the hum and buzz of an early morning networking event. I avoided the generous and perhaps optimistic Mimosas on offer and took a veggie roll, asking Holly (we had name tags on) to give me a low-down of the showcase that was about to unfold.

‘Ad tech company Unruly has partnered with leading experts on everything from well-being, digital health and interior design to home security and emerging tech such as holograms, augmented reality and virtual reality to offer a glimpse of how brands can engage consumers in the connected home’ …she said.

Ultimately the future home is comprised of the ‘Internet of things’(IoT). Just picture Wi-Fi waves coming out of your TV, burglar alarm, stereo, fridge, washing machine, coffee machine, light switches, wardrobe and anything else you like, all connected by Alexa the Amazon echo or Apple or Google voice recognition systems. By the way the IoT market is predicted to be worth $14Trillion by 2022.

We were taken into a side room and given a really great and enthused speech from the unruly CEO Sarah Wood and a presentation which told us all about the research that gave an insight into how people will adapt to the homes of the future.

Some important figures from their survey included; 60% of Brits feel robots and AI will be an essential part of the future, 50% of consumers believe connected home tech will make their lives happier, 49% said their lives would be safer, 39% thought a connected home will make them healthier and the below which shows how ‘Brands’ can come in:

brands that add value will win

And the graph below shows which rooms of the house people are most open to having interacting tech in, but I doubt the Bedroom would score so highly for those whose girlfriends’ name is Alexa?

the living room and kitchen graph

Anyway, I was ready! Luckily enough so was Simon Gosling, the man who has been a big part of the inspiration behind Unruly’s Future Home. Gosling has worked on visual FX on the films Gravity and Avatar and was here before us, an eager army hanging on to his every word, of which the next were…

‘Alexa, take me home’

And she did. The front of the house lit up and the door glowed gold and all fifty of us walked inside (the recommended tour size is 6-8). ‘Welcome Home’, Simon Said, as the curtains automatically opened behind us and the lights dimmed up to a soft glow, the fans turned on, and the virtual TV fireplace roared. The air seemed cleaner in here and I felt like a better man, though ultimately it was just a very stylish and graceful house, nothing too futuristic, it was designed with the Danish concept of ‘Hygge’ in mind and it felt like it. Simon took us on a tour of the advertising options that the home could have.

A kitchen that orders food for you and tells you what to cook based on ingredients left in your fridge. A hallway that says Hello, makes you coffee and plays songs and displays art that matches your mood. Bedrooms that track your sleep and help you choose your outfit depending on the weather forecast. Of course when you run out of food or washing detergent or need a new outfit, the interactive product screens are linked to the web and as such you can receive advertisement to suit your every need, which provides great opportunity to deliver programmatically of course. You could get an advert on your fridge screen from the most suitable supermarket at the most appropriate time, you’ll click on the Sainsbury’s milk advert on your fridge’s screen door and you’ll have your milk this time tomorrow for your morning cuppa. We are talking about integration into our life, we are talking about making our lives easier, smoother, leaving us to spend less time worrying about life’s chores. Purchasing and inspiration can be integrated into the everyday moments of our day as opposed to putting time a side to surf and search.


It can be fun too. Simon put on his AR headset and went on to the IKEA app installed on the TV. Through which you can choose a Sofa, and computer generate the sofa into your own living room so you can see what it would look like in the real world, compare colours and styles, upload to social media for opinions and ultimately feel much more confident that your purchase will be the right choice for your home. The tabloid newspaper on the table had a bar code built into it so you could bring the scanned advert alive in 3D and broadcast it on to the TV, think of that for engagement stats?

When talking about behaviours, it seemed to me that the internet of things will change everything. We can walk around our home swishing on all of our products when we need to, a seamless integration into our everyday routine. The interactive mirror will even remind you every day that it’s your wedding anniversary next week.

welcome screen


Book the experience here:


Article Written by

Simon Gist

Programmatic Account Executive, Total Media

Simon is on the programmatic team, working mostly across Fred Olsen and Pan Macmillan. Originally from Coventry he now lives in Hackney and has aspirations to make it on to Masterchef.

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