If you're worried about the decrease of affordable living space in urban areas, you can breathe a little easier. MIT Media Lab's Changing Places research group is on the case.
They've been developing CityHome, a futuristic and innovative design project that places a configurable robotic piece of furniture -- called a RoboWall -- in tiny residences.
With the wave of your hand, this 182-square-foot mechanical box will respond to your gestures, pulling components out to turn empty floor space into a bedroom, office, living room, or dining room, and tucking them back in when you don't need them anymore. What's more, the overall contraption can be pushed around to expand a bathroom to twice its size or double a kitchen's counter space, thus maximizing the limited space in small abodes.
On top of that, apps can be installed in the RoboWall as a way to smoothly integrate technology. Controlled by your voice or by touch, the customizable apps can do things like adjust your home's lights, or, say, turn on music.
The entire system is intended for newly constructed buildings, but the MIT group writes that it "can also be used to retrofit old apartments."
The demo video features a roughly 840-square-foot apartment rigged with the RoboWall. Give it a watch and possibly see a glimpse of the near future.