Magic mirrors and magic windows – in fact, magic glass surfaces all over the house – will soon become commonplace, thanks to breathtaking advancements in computers, computer interfaces and, of all things, glass. It's all about the glass. The leading U.S. innovator in glass for consumer electronics, Corning, has developed a technology that enables it to manufacture flexible glass as if it were printing wallpaper. The flexible glass will be used as a computerized touch surface, theoretically turning any surface – from refrigerator doors to countertops to entire walls – into smart‐touch displays that function like iPad devices. This glass will have the moisture permeability, temperature tolerances and clarity of glass but the flexibility and low cost of plastic.
Magic mirrors for bedroom and bathroom. While the world waits for the inevitable advancements in glass technology, there's still much that's being accomplished with regular glass. Smart mirrors, or interactive mirrors, are the first application for smart glass technology, because they don't need to be transparent. Using existing two‐way‐mirror technology, smart mirrors can function in your home like regular mirrors but optionally display information right on the surface of the mirror. One of the better visions for what’s possible with a magic mirror was conceived by, of all organizations, The New York Times. Yes, the Times has its own R&D lab, which tries to figure out how people will get news and information in the future. Apparently, they’ll get it in the bathroom, according to its concept video. The interface for all this breathtaking home technology is just like the evil queen’s technology – magic glass plus voice command and artificial intelligence. The glass surfaces conjure up information and ideas, video feeds and communication, all appropriate to the context of the user's intent.
The dream bath: Organic modern. This look is all about texture, so each surface should delight the senses. Keep color to a minimum, focusing on white, cream and natural wood tones. A tree stump stool by the tub fits perfectly with this look; pick up a ready‐made version or try crafting one yourself. If you choose metallic accents (for drawer pulls, etc.), keep them in the warm family; brass or copper would be good choices. Hang a classic hotel‐style robe on a wall hook. Choose an unusual bath mat – bamboo, cork or river stone. Wool and sheepskin hold up surprisingly well in damp conditions, but it's best to keep them away from direct contact with drippy toes. On the other side of the room by the sink would be a better choice. Natural linen shades filter light beautifully and add a textural note.