Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer looks to conquer the tiny home market with the Conker

How will we all live in the future? If some science fiction stories are to believed, it could be in shiny and spherical pod-style homes that resemble giant soccer balls on stilts. If the year 3000 can’t come around quick enough for you, former Rolls-Royce and Bentley engineer Jag Virdie has your back.

Virdie recently launched “The Conker,” a new type of spherical dwelling that can be installed in a single day, and brings with it the possibility of stylish off-the-grid living. It also has the added benefit of making your friends think some kind of luxury alien spacecraft has landed in your backyard.

“The aerodynamic shape of the Conker negates the need for guttering, and allows it to harvest water and be easily fitted with solar panels on the exterior,” Virdie told Digital Trends. “What we have created is [something] that allows people to create whatever environment they want — both inside and out. You can really make it bespoke, using whatever patterns or colors you want on the outside, and whatever furniture or colors you want on the inside.”

The full-size Conker is around 13-feet tall and 12.6-feet in diameter. Its shell is made from aluminum and recycled plastic, while the walls contain more than 200mm of insulation, which promises to make it heat efficient in both summer and winter. To gain access to the pod, you’ll use a hatch-like door and steps, similar to the kind of entrance you would find on an airplane. Inside, the surprisingly spacious Conker boasts wood floors and, on request, a wet room, toilet, kitchenette, and other essentials that truly turn a pod into a home.

It costs a shade over $45,000 “with all the bells and whistles,” although cheaper options are available if you don’t want all the extras. That relatively high price point puts it above some other micro homes, but there are no extra costs tacked on on top. For instance, it doesn’t need to be installed on a concrete base or any kind of foundation. And, heck, with the possibility of solar-powered off-the-grid living, you won’t even necessarily have energy costs to pay!

“There are several markets that we’re looking at,” Virdie said. “One is the ‘glamping’ market because they’ve really been the first to express their excitement. There has also been interest in having them as a garden room or office — which is how I use mine. There’s also potential for it as a building which can easily be assembled or dismantled to function as, for instance, a temporary bar for shows, music festivals, and other events. There’s a lot that the Conker can do.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Smart Home

The best washing machines make laundry day a little less of a chore

It takes a special kind of person to love doing laundry, but the right machine can help make this chore a little easier. Check out our picks for the best washing machines on the market right now.
Smart Home

OK, Google, what can you do? Tips and tricks for the Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Smart Home

Armenian startup Bluenero is fishing for funds for a smart aquarium

A new startup operating out of the Republic of Armenia has launched a successful Indiegogo campaign to design and manufacture a smart aquarium that automatically feeds fish and monitors water quality.
Deals

Black Friday 2018: When it happens and where to find the best deals

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Smart Home

Restaurants may soon have chefs who know all about you before you walk in the door

At Seattle’s Addo, chef Eric Rivera gives pop-up-style restaurants a permanent home, and he leverages everything from Instagram to a ticketing service to bring in customers.
Smart Home

Amazon creates a bigger toy box with its new Alexa Gadgets Toolkit

Amazon is giving manufacturers of interactive devices and smart home enthusiasts a new toy with a new Alexa Gadgets Toolkit that enables the construction of accessories that pair to Echo devices.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

Alexa can now tell you the odds of the next big football game

Alexa can now answer questions about your favorite NFL teams and players, such as what team is favored to win the upcoming game or what player has racked up the most distance over the course of their career.
Smart Home

Who needs Stitch Fix? Maison Me uses A.I. to custom design clothing just for you

With backing from Google, a new Silicon Valley-based startup called Maison Me is offering A.I.-assisted, designed-to-order clothing. It's like a personal styling service on steroids.
Smart Home

Ring Alarm vs. Nest Secure: Which one is right for you?

Thanks to the advance of technology, it's become really easy nowadays to secure your home and protect it from thieves, intruders, and unwanted guests. Which one of these two top contenders is right for you?
Smart Home

Images of Google Home Hub leak ahead of company’s October hardware event

Google Assistant has the capability to work with displays. A set of leaked images suggest Google plans to take advantage of this feature with its new Home Hub, an Echo Show-type device.
Smart Home

What is Instacart? Here’s how to use the grocery delivery app

One of the most popular grocery delivery apps is Instacart, which you can use to receive your groceries in as little as an hour. A shopper near you will deliver it to your door, saving you a trip to the store. Here's how it works.