First; a quick word of warning. This idea starts off reasonably sane and perhaps even do-able, but from there it starts to go downhill and soon slides into WIBNI hell. Please feel free to stop reading at any point (even here, if youre particularly faint-hearted) before it dissolves into a morass of
speculation and wishful thinking.
Redecorating your house is a tricky business. Its expensive, time-consuming, and (especially if you dont live alone) always full of compromises and potential recriminations. Because its such a big thing, we dont tend do to it very often, at least not if we can help it. And yet, as Fung Shui practitioners keep telling us, your home is the most intimate space you have, and as such it does have an influence (albeit a subtle one) over your moods and your state of mind. And no, before you ask, I dont have a black belt in Feng Shui, in fact I dont believe in most of it, but I do think that the place you spend most time in and call your own colours you just as you colour it.
So first of all: remove all moveable items from your abode. If youre moving into a new place, so much the better as itll be pretty much empty anyway; if not: well, tough. Nothing good comes without a bit of effort. That done, take detailed measurements of each room. Dont skimp on the detail, because, as youll see later on, being a half-inch or so out here or there could translate into a lifetime of barked-shin misery. Then feed all that data into your friendly household computer, and build an accurate 3d digital representation of your entire living space.
Now you throw caution to the wind and paint everything a disgusting shade of livid green. Youll probably get it quite cheaply, as its a colour no-one else would ever want to use. With what remains of your decorating budget (which should be quite a lot, since youve bought your paint for next to nothing) you buy a few sets of VR goggles. Enough for you, whoever else lives in your house, and maybe a few more just in case friends drop by unexpectedly.
There are sensors in the walls that detect where the goggles are, and gyroscopic sensors in the goggles which give their precise orientation as well: hence the house knows exactly what you are looking at and from what angle. Because they know where you are and the angle of your point of view, they can communicate with the central computer and ensure that the greenscreen walls you are looking at are filled in with the colour scheme/perspective-corrected wallpaper of your choice.
Everything else, you see as normal: its only where the goggles see the green screen that they interpolate the CG wallpaper over the image. So you can still hang posters on your virtual walls, and see your furniture and other useful things. (note to self lighting will also have to be incorporated. Light profiles in the virtual model?).
The advantages? Most people decorate their house to reflect their personality fair enough, but sometimes you just dont feel yourself. With this you can change your surroundings to suit your mood at the touch of a button. Cant afford another make-over for your abode? Just go to the DIY shop, purloin one of those wallpaper sample books, scan the pages into your computer, and you need never sleep in the same room twice. Also, theres no reason why your wallpaper needs to be static Ive always liked the idea of sixties-style psychedelic wallpaper that rustles almost imperceptibly as you walk past, with patterns that seem to wink and nudge each other and stifle suppressed giggles as you pass by. But maybe thats just me. Theres no reason why the houses computer cant be programmed to show views of the African savannah (complete with free-standing doors and funny-looking floating windows which look out onto your cut-price actual reality). Unlike the video wall ideas that have been posted here before, the cumbersome VR goggles allow for true perspective at no time do you have the impression of looking at a flat wall, until you actually walk into the cold, hard reality of it.
And, no more decorative compromises. You and your partner want different things? Now you can have both your ideas at once.
The disadvantages? Well, you have to wear goggles all the time. And if the central computer crashes, youre stuck in a house that seems almost purposefully designed to give you blinding headaches. Your previously empathic abode has now turned against you, and makes you think that you might now have to buy some sensible paint. But nevermind. Im well aware of the practical shortcomings of this idea.
Now, heres where things start to get a bit silly. You could make rubbish cardboard furniture with little microchips in them that tells the house computer their dimensions and where they are placed in the room. With the goggles on, you see virtual antique furniture over the visual image of a tatty bit of plywood its like choosing different skins for your media player. Your bookcase is actually made of old cereal packets and good intentions view it through your VR goggles and its suddenly an eighteenth-century wood-sculpted marquetry masterpiece. Seems superb until you actually touch it.
And heres where it gets really silly. Pure sci-fi stuff. VR goggles with some kind of sonar on them, so they can sense whats in front of you as youre pointing your eyes at it. Some kind of impossibly complicated AI system decides what youre looking at, and projects the appropriate image appropriately. Big thing that doesnt move as you walk round it? Its probably a building according to your preferences that day you may see it as an ancient Greek-style Parthenon, or a crumbling Mayan temple, or a shiny steel-and-chrome building of the future. You see something relatively small that moves past you pretty quickly? Its not a car now its a land-yacht, or a personal hovercraft, or an obliging fast-running dinosaur giving passengers a piggy-back, depending on what reality-skin youre using.
I left out my idea of using this system to replace/enhance the appearance of your wife and/or kids. I thought that might have been in bad taste.