Your smart mattress will personalize your sleep experience and notify loved ones when you get up in the morning. Smart carpet will control lights as you move around, so you don’t fall when you get up at night, and notify loved ones if someone falls. Your refrigerator will monitor your groceries and order them automatically.
Even your coffeemaker, if it notices you not drinking your coffee or conducting some odd behavior related to the machine, may well alert family members that there may be a problem.
Of course, all of this technology costs money, and given how carpets and mattresses can run a consumer thousands of dollars today, it’s easy to imagine a tomorrow in which future retirees on a fixed income feel as if they can only afford the dumb carpet and dumb mattress instead of the smart ones.
As for driver-less cars, there’s been little research on what the costs might be, but according to a 2014 study put out by the research company IHS Markit, self-driving cars will be $7,000 to $10,000 more than the average car in 2025. By 2030, a self-driving car will cost $5,000 more than a conventional vehicle, and by 2035, it’ll cost about $3,000 more.
In other words, depending on your age, you may not be living your retirement walking around on a smart carpet and being chauffeured in a self-driving car, but your kids or grand kids probably will. Then again, maybe you will, too.