Compact city living can feel… restricting. My last apartment barely measured 700 square feet, and some days it still feels painstakingly small. I couldn’t even imagine dwelling in a smaller apartment, it simply wouldn’t be all that livable.

A project by MIT Media Labs – known as CityHome- seeks to change that.  CityHome is quite literally a house in a box. The machine is the size of a closet, and stows a bed, dining room table, kitchen surface, cooking range, closet, and storage container. Any of these elements can be called forth or retracted with something as simple as a gesture or a voice command. Not only that, once it’s installed, the entire module can move several feet in either direction, extending or compacting a room at will. Not only that, the entire process is impressively fluid; somehow, that adds to the device’s appeal even more.

 

It’s not hard to see where one would apply a product like CityHome.

“This would work well in the 30 to 40 Innovation Cities where young people are priced out of the market,” explained lead researcher Kent Larson. “At $1,000 per square foot in Boston, the extra cost of technology is trivial compared to space saved for a furnished apartment.”

To my knowledge, CityHome hasn’t yet reached consumers, so there isn’t yet a market price for the device. I’d imagine it won’t go for more than a couple thousand, though – which is a small price to pay considering how much one could potentially save on an apartment. Expect more from the Changing Places team at MIT as this project continues to evolve. [via fastcodesign]

- See more at: http://www.thecoolist.com/mit-cityhome-high-tech-furniture/#sthash.0o5l76jl.dpuf