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Virginia Tech to display FutureHAUS at world's largest kitchen and bath expo

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Forget There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, because with Virginia Tech's FutureHAUS, there's a great big beautiful today. Architecture staff and students have taken the concept of modular homes and given it a high-end, and high-tech, twist

Walking through the home office, professor Joseph Wheeler shows off the masterpiece he and his students have spent the semester creating. In the home office that converts to a guest bedroom, a computer desk turns into a platform for a queen sized bed.

The home office backs up to a modular master bedroom. The bedroom has a wall that can give or take space from the home office, depending on time of day. A wave of a hand also sets another wall into motion, revealing a washing machine hidden in a wall.

The master also houses a magic mirror, or in this case a smart mirror, similar to the one from the movie Clueless. The mirror has a computer built in, so people can scroll through pictures of their clothing and pick and outfit. The computer then lets the user know if the outfit goes well together and then moves that item to the front of the closet for the user to grab.

And while the technology is neat, Wheeler says what makes FutureHAUS revolutionary is how it is made. "We're looking at building houses like we build cars," he said. "All of these are pre-wired, all pre-installed, shipped to the site as smaller components that all fit on standard size trucks and then the house, once they're set in place the house is built around them."

For students, like junior Katie Waldner, that has led to sit-downs with high-powered industry executives. Waldner explained, "It was just very interesting to see how they saw that we could apply their products and how we gave them feedback of how we also saw it. So it's really interesting because as a student you don't really get that experience."

Now, she and her classmates will be heading to Orlando for the world's largest kitchen and bath expo to show off FutureHAUS. They plan on shrink-wrapping each cartridge and loading it on a truck before assembling it at the expo.


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