Archives For automated home

Microsoft smart home 1999For decades, humans have been obsessed with smart home technology that: opens automated window blinds when we wake up, orders pizza with the push of a button, creates custom entertainment and lightning experiences based on the user, and orders food automatically when our refrigerators are depleted.

These are the tenets of the smart home past, present and future.

In 1999, Microsoft produced this video on the home of the future, and you know what?

Just about everything that futurists at MSFT predicted is coming to fruition. Although, ironically, it’s Apple who is developing the operating system that will knit it all together.

[via Quartz]

If you dig this, be sure to check out how Looney Tunes imagined the automated home of the future 60 years ago.


How Looney Tunes imagined the automated home of the future 60 years ago…

Looney Tunes Automated Home circa 1954

“Design for Leaving” is a Looney Tunes short from 1954 parodying smart home technology of the day, including the Design for Living House in the Homes of Tomorrow Exhibition at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago.

Elmer Fudd Intelligent Home

Daffy plays a salesman from the Acme Future-Antic Push-Button Home of Tomorrow Household Appliance Company who installs the most wonderful intelligent home systems in Elmer Fudd’s home (sending him to Duluth while the installation was completed!).

Elmer Fudd Duluth van and storage co

The “system of the future” includes advancements in automated fire monitoring and home security, cleaning devices for wall scrubbing and window washing, tie-tying, a home elevator, and a most impressive central control panel filled with a hundred buttons that control all of the new appliances.

This episode aired almost 10 years before The Jetsons, and it’s fun to see a lot of this technology come to fruition 60 years later.

nestAs Google buys Nest today, it increases the pressure for consumers to decide what type of operating system they want their home to run. And what types of off-the-shelf and add-on devices they should buy.

Is your connected home a Mac or a PC? Apple or Android? The internet of things works best when the things can talk to each other, and that requires a consolidated operating system.

I specifically was giving a home security company a bad time about this at CES last week. I want my furnace, smoke detector, security system, Dropcam, doorbell, refrigerator, oven, phone, cable and internet provider to all speak to each other.

But right now I’m locked into contracts with a handful of service providers who do not sell the best and most innovative connected home products. And of course, they don’t talk to each other. Because that’s not something expected, until recently.

The new situation is quite literally the Mac vs. PC and Apple vs. Android wars, except this time the battle has moved from laptops and phones to your home.

The dominant players will not necessarily be first to market, but instead disrupt traditional thinking and look to scoop up the innovators who are solving problems outside the legacy infrastructure and bureaucracy that has held back the legacy home product companies.

Naysayers will point out that an internet outage will create new headaches and hurdles for connected home users. And they’re correct. And that won’t stop consumers from installing value-adding technology to their home.

Kudos to Nest and Google. Now where’s my tweeting ice maker?