12 / 28

7-1 Homes of the future -- today

Future Feature 7:  Modular shipping containers to change the shape/size of a home
(Photo 1 of 2)

Shipping containers are common and relatively inexpensive structures that are often stacked or placed at 90 degree angles to form modular homes. For the 2011 Solar Decathlon, students from China took the shipping container idea a step further by arranging six shipping containers into a Y-shaped home.

Homes of the future -- today

[Yahoo Homes editor's note: Delighted by the popularity of our recent slideshow of tiny homes, Yahoo Homes and the excellent low-impact-living website Inhabitat are teaming up again -- this time to bring you this exclusive-to-Yahoo roundup of some of the most amazing "future features" that college visionaries worldwide have dreamed up for the Solar Decathlon. The biennial U.S. edition of the competition just ended in Irvine, California.]

Although we’re not living in the Jetsons’ world of flying cars and rocketship homes just yet, the future is here when it comes to innovations for the home that allow us to live better, easier, healthier lives.  

Every two years in the United States (and other years abroad), brilliant architecture and engineering students from around world build the houses of tomorrow, then show them off in the Solar Decathlon home design competition - and they’ve got futuristic features that will blow your mind. From a transforming house that splits in two, to houses that actually pay their owners, to furniture that pops up from the floor, read on for 15 next-gen features that could be coming soon to your home. | By Mike Chino, Inhabitat

Also on Yahoo Homes: Click here for videos that bring these home features to life.