As a meme put it, about two years ago: We are now at the point in time to which Marty McFly jumped forward in Back to the Future II, and do you see any flying cars? No.

Where we’re going, we still need roads. This might lead you to believe that the future is here and it’s rather… disappointing.

Sure, it’s easy to pick up a paper in 2017 and think that things are moving backwards at a rate of knots – but that convenient, connected future is here. Video conferencing? Check. Voice-controlled household appliances? Check, Alexa. Hoverboards? Check. Sort of.

What’s more, the house of the future is now the house of the present day. Although it may only be the early adopters who have it all hooked up, the futurist house is an attainable goal. Observe the following examples.

Heat Your Home From Miles Away

You come out of work to wait for your bus, and the wind cuts through you like an icy blade. You long to get home to your house, where it’s warm, but you know there will be that fifteen-minute lag period while the radiators warm up and you can still see your breath inside.

However, due to services like Hive, you can now set those radiators to come on while you wait for that bus. By the time you step through the door, your home is a blessed cocoon of warmth. Similarly, Hue is a service that switches lights on when you want them to come on – so instead of waiting for energy-saving bulbs to warm up to full beam, you can set them ahead of your arrival. This is also beneficial as an anti-burglar measure – you’re on a beach in Dubai, but your lights come on in the evening so it looks like you’re home.

Are You Smarter Than Your TV?

Psychologists are a little concerned by our ability to carry our whole lives on a small screen that fits in our pockets; they worry it’s not a communal, sociable way of living. Now, though, with Smart TV features like Apple Airplay, you can share with your friends the hilarious dog video you’re watching, or make the game you’re playing a team experience.

Most TVs now even come with app functionality. So if you’re having a party, you can run a playlist or two through the Spotify app on your TV – adding a visual element to the Surround Sound experience.

Talk To Your House – And Hear It Talk Back

While robot butlers remain frustratingly out of reach, it doesn’t much matter if you’ve got an Amazon Echo or similar device. It can book you a taxi, order a pizza, and keep you updated on sports scores. As you go from room to room, you can have your music follow you. Now there’s no need to reach for your phone to find something out – so if you’re cooking and need to know how long to pan-fry halloumi for, ask Alexa. She’ll know.

It’s anyone’s guess what’s next from the minds behind these developments – but if it’s a letterbox that automatically shreds junk mail, it will make someone a billionaire.