High-tech homes of the future are here today
January 11, 2000
By Correspondent David George
ATLANTA (CNN) -- The house of the future is here today. While they may resemble ordinary homes on the outside, what they boast on the inside makes them particularly impressive, and smart.
Lamps turn on automatically when someone arrives. Speakers hidden behind wallpaper play music that follows a person from room to room. Portable touchpads control everything from the television to the temperature to the lights, which brighten or dim to fit the occasion, or to match the light outdoors.
While high-tech, the home technology doesn't necessarily have a high price. Every home in a medium-priced subdivision near Atlanta, for example, comes pre-wired for technology and the Internet.
Technology experts say homebuyers in every price range want security. A simple system might include a front door intercom. In a more upscale house, the intercom might have a security camera and a link to the telephone.
"If you ring the doorbell I just dial 'star, star' and I'm talking to you at the front door," said smart-home owner William Wrigley. "And I can see who it is. I can see on any TV in the house."
Back in 1957, Monsanto Corp. offered its version of the house of the future at Disneyland in southern California. In Monsanto's view, the future was all about easy living.
Some innovations, like the electric toothbrush, became big hits. But the house of the future's design never caught on. It looked a little like a floating diner.
Four decades later, the house of the future looks a lot like the house next door. The interior technology, however, makes all the difference.
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