House of the Future on the Cloud – Living in a Smart City, Portuguese Communications Museum

House of the Future is, since 2003, one of the permanent exhibitions of Communications Museum, integrated in Espaço Futuro, dedicated to promoting knowledge of new technologies – equipment, application and advanced services – in a housing space. It is a registered trademark of the Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações, where the concept of the future is constantly updated, benefiting from working in partnership with different institutions linked to the technological innovation sector and always bearing in mind the special mission of disseminating the importance of the communications sector for the civil society.

The timeline that supports the exhibition aims to highlight the evolutionary process of the concept of the house of the future, with special emphasis on some paradigmatic cases, since the 19th century, and, above all, for the cases that used new technologies as structuring elements, starting from mid-twentieth century. New concepts and solutions in housing, with a great impact on the well-being of citizens, are being presented, and as in reality, the exhibition accumulates knowledge and adds to the knowledge of the previous stages.

In this concept, the exhibition Future House reinforces the humanization technology with the presentation and demonstration that these are a means to an end: to bring greater quality of life to communities through the application of the concept of cloud computing (computing in the cloud) in the family experience, that is, placing the House in the Cloud . Digital convergence is being enhanced through this cloud computing, based on the sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economies of scale similar to those of a utility, through a network.

The concept is demonstrated through interaction exercises, inside the house or remotely, as users can access the features via the internet, regardless of their location. These are the features that in a smart city all houses in the future will enjoy!

The Portuguese Communications Foundation, which since its creation has played an active and important role in the promotion and dissemination of projects and technological solutions that promote social inclusion in its most diverse pillars, by strengthening the partnership with the PT Foundation aims to increase its contribution to achieve these objectives, making known and enabling its many visitors to Casa do Futuro to experiment with technological solutions that allow them to improve the autonomy and quality of life of senior citizens and citizens with special communications needs.

In 2017 Casa do Futuro received yet another update, having won a new resident: Alexa.
A virtual assistant , created by the North American company Amazon, to which the Portuguese technology company Techsensys associated information through the coding of commands in English. A pioneering solution in Portugal that developed the home automation of Casa do Futuro by introducing the novelty of verbal control, through the internet.

Moving up and down blinds, turning the lights on and off, opening the door, controlling the opacity of the windows, giving orders to play music and researching everything online are just some of the verbal commands that visitors can experience through the your own voice.

This equipment cleans all the spaces of Casa do Futuro, using a navigation system with visual location, which allows you to navigate through several rooms by identifying and circumventing obstacles and adapting to the configuration of the house, cleaning even under furniture and, for Finally, it recharges automatically whenever it identifies the need to restore energy. You can learn more about this equipment, on the iRobot page , entirely dedicated to suction.

In the case of Casa do Futuro, which has had the help of Alexa since 2017, the iRobot Roomba 980 could not fail to be integrated with the electronic assistant, so it is controlled not only through the app that the manufacturer developed but also, for anyone who wants, by voice command.

Portuguese Communications Foundation
The Communications Museum, opened in 1997 at Rua do Instituto Industrial, 16, in Lisbon, is a pedagogical space of scientific and technological nature, where, in a playful and interactive way, you can have access to information about the past of communications and also about the technologies of the future. The Communications Museum belongs to the Portuguese Communications Foundation – FPC, and is responsible for the museological collection of its founders ( ANACOM, CTT and Portugal Telecom ) and for its dissemination.

Located in the riverside area of Lisbon, The Portuguese Communications Foundations (FPC) was created in 1997 by the founding members ANACOM, CTT and MEO.

The FPC is the guardian of Portugal’s communication heritage and its chief purpose is to conserve and divulge it. It also aims to assert itself as a nationally and internationally recognised cultural and scientific institution that plays an active role in promoting citizenship, literacy, learning and social inclusion.
The existing heritage includes a valuable collection of pieces ranging from the 16th century to the present day.

This heritage is grouped into the Postal, Telecommunications and Art and Philately collections. It can also be consulted in the Historical Archive, Iconography Archive and the Library, and online in the Digital Catalogues.

The Museum of Communications is an active and visible part of the achievement of the Foundation’s purpose. It holds exhibitions on the science and techniques linked to the sector, allowing visitors to learn about its history and to experience the future of technologies, highlighting the permanent exhibitions Overcoming Distance – Five Centuries of Communications in Portugal, Mail Coach and the House of the Future in the Cloud – Living in a Smart City, as well as exhibitions of contemporary art.

The Foundation is therefore a place in which the past, present and future of communications are intertwined. It is a platform for innovation and experimentation in new technologies and their impact on the way people organise and live their daily lives.