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Gadget Guru Builds High-Tech Haven 227

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the house-of-tomorrow-today-or-something dept.
Alexander Burke writes "In the 27,000-square-foot Carmel, Indiana home of Scott Jones, head of Escient Technologies, fireplaces ignite and drapes close on demand, televisions appear as if by magic and the ceilings play music. Touch-screen panels throughout the house run lights, security, heat and cooling systems, and video and audio libraries. Speakers are embedded in the walls and ceilings behind the plaster. The home includes a movie theater that seats 20 and has a wine cellar accessible only by fingerprint scan. Ted's outfit brings us more information."
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Gadget Guru Builds High-Tech Haven

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  • by tilleyrw (56427)
    What will Martha Stewart do now?
  • I wonder if he's using soundbugs?
  • Mr. Gates have something like this? If you have enough money all of these things are possible.
    • Yeah but his house has to be rebooted every week and the furniture reinstalled every season and he must keep all the receipts or he will be evicted.
  • speakers (Score:2, Funny)

    I wonder about the quality of the sound from the speakrs, given that they're behind plaster and all.
    • I wonder about the quality of his plaster, given that there are speakers vibrating the heck out of it.
    • I would guess you would get ok long wave low freq stuff but the high stuff 1)either sucks or 2) he has them aranged near a vent..
    • I'd wonder too. My house has real plaster interior walls and ceilings (not drywall), and the resulting acoustics absolutely suck. Sound gets amplified and distorted in nasty ways. Frex, if I have the computer speakers going in the living room at a moderate volume, the music comes across as ear-painful thumping noise in the adjacent library -- having passed thru 2 layers of plaster enroute. Regular stereo speakers sound like it's inside your head full-blast even turned down low and with the bass and treble reduced. I'm thinking about having insulation blown into the *interior* walls to try to damp down these effects.

  • Everything mentioned is pretty much 20 year old technology.

    I guess this is one of those stories where you are just supposed to drool and say "wow".
    • too true. Not that it's ever stopped these ludicrous stories before. We have IP webcams at work too, big fucking deal - Axis webcams only cost about $300 and they have a built-in webserver running Linux!
  • More information? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by image (13487) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @10:57AM (#4188855) Homepage
    > Ted's outfit brings us more information.

    More information? Hardly. That article was 278 words long, including headline and byline. The slashdot synopsis just about covered the entire thing.

    No wait, let me quote it here (it won't even overflow a slashdot comment):

    By Jeff Flock, CNN:

    Scott Jones' home is 27,000 square feet of both showcase and laboratory for the technologies he develops. He's his own lab rat.

    Touch-screen panels throughout the house run lights, security, heat and cooling systems, and video and audio libraries. Speakers are embedded in the walls and ceilings behind the plaster.

    "I wanted great sound quality throughout the house but I did not want to have ugly speakers," Jones said.

    Even waking up in the morning is a high-tech venture. His alarm clock neither beeps nor buzzes; instead, music begins to play, curtains open on sunshine and lights switch on. And in the bathroom, the shower starts flowing.

    Jones is the head of Escient Technologies, a company that develops in-home systems that merge Internet power with electronic appliances and devices. His patented voicemail technology is used by the majority of telephone companies throughout the world.

    While Jones is traveling, he can check in on his abode via the Internet. As part of the security system, cameras are trained on every room of the house and every entrance. He can go on the Web and with a few clicks, zoom in on parts of the house or unlock doors from half a world away.

    Why does Jones need a home that includes a movie theater that seats 20 and wine cellar accessible only by fingerprint scan?

    According to Jones, "I like to build things and change the world."


    Yup. That's all folks. : )
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by BlabberMonkey (605922)
    Yeah, just wait till he comes home to find his house all burnt to hell because of some 6 year old h4x0r.
  • Nice House (Score:2, Funny)

    by Mupp252 (263650)
    Speakers are embedded in the walls and ceilings behind the plaster.

    Oh, if these walls could talk!
  • Gotta love it... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bleckywelcky (518520) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @10:58AM (#4188863)

    You gotta love this statement at the end:

    Why does Jones need a home that includes a movie theater that seats 20 and wine cellar accessible only by fingerprint scan?

    According to Jones, "I like to build things and change the world."


    Sure, I like to build things and wouldn't mind changing the world, where is my 27,000 sq ft mansion? But really, how does this mansion change the world? I'm sure a lot of progress is being made to help the world out while he lounges around, having shades opened and lights turned on for him automatically, while he listens to some classical music on his hidden speakers as he heads to the wine cellar to get something tasty to drink. Yep, lots of progress going on there, I can see the world's problems just dissolving away.
    • "I like to build things and change my world."
    • by sql*kitten (1359)
      Sure, I like to build things and wouldn't mind changing the world, where is my 27,000 sq ft mansion? But really, how does this mansion change the world?

      From the article:


      Jones is the head of Escient Technologies, a company that develops in-home systems that merge Internet power with electronic appliances and devices. His patented voicemail technology is used by the majority of telephone companies throughout the world.


      If this techology makes it into everyday homes, then he's changed the world, for the better. What he's doing is just immersive research. And he's paying for it with his own money, which is more than can be said for our luxury-obsessed "leaders" talking about changing the world on their latest taxpayer-funded vacation in Jo'burg.
      • I'm not sure that putting this technology into everybody's homes is going to necessarily make things better. Aren't people sedentary enough? And certainly putting speakers behind the walls is only of concern for people who can afford to have a speaker asthetic.

        Also, check out this part of the article:

        Even waking up in the morning is a high-tech venture. His alarm clock neither beeps nor buzzes; instead, music begins to play, curtains open on sunshine and lights switch on. And in the bathroom, the shower starts flowing.

        Unless he's the type to leap right out of bed and zip into the bathroom, isn't that a big waste of water? I know that it's not as big of a deal in Indiana, I guess, but it still seems like extravagant wastefulness to have someone "start the shower" for you (I always jump right in, and just give a little shudder for the half second of cold water). In Virginia, we have a drought that's so bad we now have mandatory water restrictions [state.va.us].

        While his house is indeed "cool", I don't see this really "benefiting" humankind any more than, say, Theater Surround systems or MP3 players. They're neat, they're fun, and they're great for people who can afford them. But the truth is automated (or at least the best equivalent at the time) houses have been around forever, and always among the wealthiest of the population.

        • > While his house is indeed "cool", I don't see this really "benefiting" humankind any more than, say, Theater Surround systems or MP3 players. They're neat, they're fun, and they're great for people who can afford them.

          OK, I'll put on my "hippie hat" for a minute and say that "at least it's more environmentally-sound than driving your SUV to the movie theater".

          But the real reason is, as you guessed, convenience.

          > But the truth is automated (or at least the best equivalent at the time) houses have been around forever, and always among the wealthiest of the population.

          So ask your grandmother how her parents did the laundry when she was a kid. If your great-grandmother was lucky, she had a wringer she turned with a crank to speed up the drying process, and she didn't have to boil the water herself, because the coal-burning stove had a heat exchanger in the back of it to keep some water hot for bathing.

          Flush toilets, basic refrigerators, frost-free refrigerators, self-cleaning ovens, hot water on tap, and laundry machines all started out as things that were "great for people who can afford them" too.

        • The voice control and automation of the home will someday be a HUGE help to handicapped people. So yes, this stuff could be incredibly useful to someone. And for everyone else it's just neat.

          Kintanon
        • If he was at all thinking about it, he'd use a proximity sensor coupled with a clock ("it's morning, he's heading to the shower, and the shower hasn't been used today, therefore I'll turn on") and have the shower come on when he's right outside the bath room. Same with "turning on the lights" - can't a light sensor determine whether there's enough light to be had by opening the shades before it switched on the lights?

          I would *not* want this guy automating my house. No imagination.

      • If this techology makes it into everyday homes, then he's changed the world, for the better...

        ...as long as you live in a country where you can actually have one of these houses. I don't see the improvement to non-first world countries.
        • by sql*kitten (1359)
          ...as long as you live in a country where you can actually have one of these houses. I don't see the improvement to non-first world countries.

          "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong" -- Abraham Lincoln.
        • Why is everyone obsessed with improving 1st world countries? Why can't they improve themselves? Every country was first world at one point...

          Kintanon
          Yes! I am flamebait! Fuck you Moderators! I can't even tell how much Karma I have anymore, but it's still OVER 50!
      • Sign agreements that later own get them voted out of office because their electors are too lazy to be arsed to care about sustainable development....
      • His patented voicemail technology is used by the majority of telephone companies throughout the world.
        I believe they're talking about patent 5,475,748 which you can look up here [uspto.gov]. Was there really no prior art on this?

        What he's doing is just immersive research. And he's paying for it with his own money...

        So if we were able to see his tax return he wouldn't have possibly deducted the cost of the house as a business expense for research. No siree. Wouldn't do that. After all, the USPTO has already made him a rich man by giving him a monopoly on an idea, so why would he begrudge them some of those winnings?
    • He didn't say fix the worlds problems. He just said change the world. Big difference.
      • He didn't say fix the worlds problems. He just said change the world. Big difference.

        Oh, changing the world is relatively easy. Lob an ICBM shell from your back yard in the states towards China.

        Its M.A.D.!!! :-)

    • I can see the world's problems just dissolving away.

      Yeah. One sits in the house and enjoys these luxuries. The rest of the world's problems dissolve away.
    • > Why does Jones need a home that includes a movie theater that seats 20 and wine cellar accessible only by fingerprint scan?
      > >
      > > According to Jones, "I like to build things and change the world."
      >
      > Sure, I like to build things and wouldn't mind changing the world, where is my 27,000 sq ft mansion? But really, how does this mansion change the world? I'm sure a lot of progress is being made to help the world out while he lounges around, having shades opened and lights turned on for him automatically, while he listens to some classical music on his hidden speakers as he heads to the wine cellar to get something tasty to drink. Yep, lots of progress going on there, I can see the world's problems just dissolving away.

      I'm willing to compromise on some things. For instance, rather than having a wine cellar (that could be full of Thunderbird and Wild Turkey for all we know) that had biometric access control, I'd settle for a wine cellar so well-stocked that it needed a biometric access control, even if it never got one.

      But will some of you "that money could be spent on other people" folks kindly put your money where your mouth is, so we can settle this question once and for all? I'm willing to bet a million bucks of your money that owning a house like that would certainly dissolve the world's problems away for me!

      And for the record - I'd even bet a million bucks of my money. I'm just short by about a million bucks at the moment.

      (Why yes, it is my goal in life to have a personal answer to the question of whether or not money can buy happiness. I don't trust poor people or government officials when they insist that it can't. :-)

  • Can't you find something better to do with your money? People like this make me sick, although if I had the money, I must admit I'd be tempted to do the same. It's easy to be frugal with other people's money.
    • Who the hell are you to tell someone what to spend their money on?!
    • Am I telling him not to spend his money on that stuff?

      No.

      Am I being judgemental?

      Yes.

      There is a difference between telling people they can't spend their money on what they want to, and on observing that its a complete and utter waste.
    • My first response was something like yours, but then I thought--in an earlier age, this guy would be hiring a butler or servant to do a lot of this stuff for him. He may be too lazy to draw his own window-shades or flip his own light switches, but at least he isn't making someone else do it for him.

      I wonder if he has a lawn or a garden. It's pretty hard to automate gardening and landscaping (although I've heard about crude automated lawn mowers.)

      hyacinthus.
      • Yeah, putting that potential person out of a job!

        Man, all our labor class is gonna be replaced by robots!

        Where do you think all those butlers go when there not needed, huh? 'Magically' find a better job?

        Someday, we won't even need to tell the computer to open the blinds... and what use will it have for us then.

        (Yay for Terminator 3 coming soon!)
        • I find this a curious notion, that hiring someone to do menial labor at substandard wages is actually doing that person a _favor_, because at least you're giving him a job. And I really shouldn't have used the word "butler", which conjures images of cultured and well-compensated servants out of P. G. Wodehouse and Oscar Wilde--the "butler" of today is more likely to be an immigrant, hired as a nanny or a gardener or whatever, and paid under the table. And of course a similar sort of thing happens in industries which depend largely on unskilled migrant labor, such as the agricultural and meat-packing industries. This is exploitation pure and simple, and the argument that it's good that at least you're giving someone a job doesn't fly with me.

          I don't know the solution to the problem, though. It'd be nice if employers paid all their workers decent wages and benefits, but they don't and they won't.

          "(Yay for Terminator 3 coming soon!)"

          Ugh. The second was lame enough.

          hyacinthus.
    • Wait, is *this* why the rest of the world hates us? I thought it was the war on terrorism. Or, that we haven't ratified Kyoto. Or, our arrogance. Or, our obesity rates. Or, our tendency to speak English in foreign countries. Or, blah blah blah, etc. etc. etc. [insert generalized statement based on individual's pet peeve/preference here].

      I think you got one thing right accidentally, though: the reason *you* seem to hate this guy is because you don't have as much money as him, since you'd do the same thing if you did. Hmm.

      -brennan
  • Pretty fucked when there's a power cut then... What size of UPS could cope with that?
    • It's called a "generator." Your UPS only needs to run a few critical systems until the generator kicks in. You can get just about any sized UPS or generator limited only by your budget. It's obvious this guy has a few pennies to spend.
  • Does having all that technology really improve the quality of life? Touch screens to turn on the lights? Whats wrong with a light switch? Speakers in the walls? Thats nice, so not only does it sound like the sound is coming from... well... the walls, but every room in the house would pretty much hear whatever you're listening to as well.

    I guess if you got enough money to spend...
    • Screw touch screens for light control. I want one of them thingies I can just wave my hand in front of to turn the light on/off.

      (remember the day the earth stood still? yeah, an invincible robot that conveniently melts tanks would be nice too)
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:03AM (#4188907) Homepage
    I can do everything that guy did in his oversized ampatheatre he calls a house for probably 1/10-th the price he did with much more flexibility. www.misterhouse.org is a good start. and Look at the applied digital [appdig.com] for some of the best home automation core systems available at really good prices compared to the overpriced DMX/panja stuff. Whole house audio is easy and cheap if you can live without concert quality sound in every room.. www.smarthome.com has tons of that stuff.

    a "wired" home as to speak of takes nither genius nor requires buttloads of money. I have pretty much the equilivient for around $1500.00 spent with another $1500.00 to be spent on the whole house audio next month. I have a massive 1285 Sq foot home with a mind boggling 10 rooms (excluding the garage and back yard) so I am way above what most people can even dream of (Ok the sarcasim is a bit thick) Yes, I had to program misterhouse for my needs.. .YES I had to wire everything (doesnt take a rocket scientist to do that) and yes I had to design and maintain it.. but hey... I have something that the ultra-rich like to flaunt that they usually only are allowed to have.. and you can too!


    • A 1285 sq ft house with 10 rooms? Is this some sort of jail or something? That's just slightly more than 11 x 11 per room. My bedroom by itself is 11 x 13, exluding an attached closet/storage room and my computer extension which together add another 8 x 7. And they feel like a damn fox hole. The other main areas of my house are 3 to 4 times larger. Unless this is some sort of dorm/rental house, then I would understand. If not, then you should go ahead and knock some walls down and make it much more roomy.
    • Yeah, but it's X-10. X-10 SUCKS. Who the hell wants a system that randomly turns your bedroom light or stereo on at 3am? I used to have lots of x-10 stuff, but got tired of it just not working reliably and ripped it out. That and going through wall switches left and right ( they just are NOT built well.) ... And I'll NEVER forgive them for the pop-up ads.

      Misterhouse is cool, but I'd rather use some other HA technology than X-10.
      • I have to agree on the X10 stuff. Even if the equipment was extremely reliable, the underlying protocols are flawed. There's no security built in. Anyone with an X10 remote can control my house, and even if I disabled the wireless interface, they could plug in one of my outdoor plugs to interface the network. While the ability to turn my lights on might not be a drastic security concern, it limits my ability to make use of some of the more custom features, like using one of the X10 unit codes to activate computer events. If security is the least bit important in those matters, X10 is not a viable option.

        Its also slow. While the time between a button press and the lamp turning on is almost instantanious, if you're detecting an event then responding to it separately, it will take a minimum of two seconds to get feedback, which is almost useless if you're you're using motion sensors to capture pictures or anything else where responses in the milliseconds are preferred.

        Still, for low cost consumer grade products, they serve their purpose well. Even if you despise X10 for obvious reasons, you can wire your entire house with X10 compatible products from different companies. However, anyone planning to wire every single electrical device in the house probably can justify a different approach.

        -Restil
  • by Torgo's Pizza (547926) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:04AM (#4188910) Homepage Journal
    What I love about the article the most is the picture of the outside of the house. Too bad there isn't anything of the inside of the house and the streaming video is only for paid subscribers. Otherwise, the article is a total fluff piece. No real substance to it at all. It's like a short "House of the Future" blurb right out of the 1957 issue of Popular Mechanics. Changing the world indeed...
  • by puto (533470) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:08AM (#4188950) Homepage
    Call him an arrogant rich bastard but he is a geek like the rest of us.

    Hey, how many of us bought the friggin X-10 cam bundles for 99.99? So we can see what our servers do while we are at Comdex?

    How many of us don't have gigs of mp3's in the car? Even built one before commercial players were for sale?

    The guy is just ab ubergeek who made some cash and modded the shit outta his house. More power to him!

    I would kill to have my own theater. John Carpenters The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, big screen cheese fests for me and the bodies. And imagine Ron Jeremy on the big screen? Yikes.

    We would all do something similar if we had the cash. We all got some weird wants.

    What are some of the weird things you would do with bucks? Besides being altruistic?

    Puto
  • by image (13487)
    Check out scottajones.com [scottajones.com] for actual information about the house, not the short CNN blurb.
  • I like Escient (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueGecko (109058) <benjamin...pollack@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:09AM (#4188957) Homepage
    A friend of mine has a home theater system designed by Escient with full Dolby surround speakers, a nice projection screen about twelve feet wide or so, and so forth. Just like Scott Jones, it is also highly automated. Automated features it has (I am not making any of these up):
    1. Blowing the speaker system about once per month, completely automated.
    2. Firing DVDs at high speed out of the changer as someone walks by
    3. Shutting the curtains in front of the screen, usually during highly suspenseful and/or very cool scenes
    While the theater setup is cool, Escient's stuff, at least in that theater, always has something a bit off with it even when it's mostly working. I honestly don't know whether anyone except Escient offers that kind of thing (since I live in Indiana, Escient does seem to be the only option here), but if there are multiple options for you, I would at least consider them before going with Escient. I should emphasize that the theater is not mine and I have only had extensive experience with that one, but since there aren't a ton of these lying around, I thought I'd give my two cents anyway.
    • Closed technology (Score:3, Informative)

      by walt-sjc (145127)
      Escient uses Lutron stuff. Only problem is that it's a closed architecture / proprietary thing. Why of why these guys refuse to work with open standards is beyond me. It limits you to only technology supported by Lutron.

      An alternative is open technology supported by companies like Leviton, Samsung, Siemens, Philips, Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Trane, Cisco, and Many others world wide. See Echelon [echelon.com] who developed the technology, and the Lonmark [lonmark.org] site which has info on integrators, manufacturers, etc.
  • by YouTalkinToMe (559217) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:09AM (#4188961)
    from the article:

    While Jones is traveling, he can check in on his abode via the Internet. As part of the security system, cameras are trained on every room of the house and every entrance. He can go on the Web and with a few clicks, zoom in on parts of the house or unlock doors from half a world away.

    Now is it just me, or is this asking for trouble?

    • I've never understood *why* people want camera's around the entire house. How's a guy supposed to get some play on the couch during halftime of MNF if there's a camera there?

  • by garcia (6573) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:14AM (#4188988) Homepage
    well, I would prefer putting a fingerprint scan on my beer fridge instead. When you are rich enough to buy wine you should share your collection. When you can only afford cheap beer you need to protect it ;)
    • as a raider of Bill's beer fridge since '00, I can personally attest to this. Cheap beer in a college town/environment needs to be protected at all costs, up to and including making the raider sit on Bill's porch :)
  • William Gibson typed 'Neuromancer' on an old, beat-up typewriter.

    'Nuff said.
  • And he won't be able to get drunk anymore.

    Speakers behind the plaster: "The woofer needs adjustment. Get the hammers!"

  • THIS is a data haven.
  • I can do everything that guy did in his oversized ampatheatre he calls a house for probably 1/10-th the price he did with much more flexibility. www.misterhouse.org is a good start. and Look at the applied digital [appdig.com] for some of the best home automation core systems available at really good prices compared to the overpriced DMX/panja stuff. Whole house audio is easy and cheap if you can live without concert quality sound in every room.. www.smarthome.com has tons of that stuff.

    a "wired" home as to speak of takes nither genius nor requires buttloads of money. I have pretty much the equilivient for around $1500.00 spent with another $1500.00 to be spent on the whole house audio next month. I have a massive 1285 Sq foot home with a mind boggling 10 rooms (excluding the garage and back yard) so I am way above what most people can even dream of (Ok the sarcasim is a bit thick) Yes, I had to program misterhouse for my needs.. .YES I had to wire everything (doesnt take a rocket scientist to do that) and yes I had to design and maintain it.. but hey... I have something that the ultra-rich like to flaunt that they usually only are allowed to have.. and you can too!

  • ...that i am the first person to get to make a joke about "Jones" in "Indiana"!!! I mean, I saw that and thought the house was gonna be sued by Lucas....
  • by bmarklein (24314) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:22AM (#4189043)
    This guy's company Escient turned CDDB into a commercial product and later spun it off as a separate company (Gracenote).
  • Jones is the head of Escient Technologies, a company that develops in-home systems that merge Internet power with electronic appliances and devices.


    Is this guy an idiot? This sort of thing is like hanging a sign out front and asking the script-kiddies, "Pleaze, dudez, hack my house. Hack my shower."


    Why in the world would I want my appliance merged with anything having to do with the internet?


    So some pimply faced kid named 'Dakota Flushboy' can come and make my convection oven turn on instead of my toaster?


    "Hooo-boy, Dakota, you got me. You really did."


  • Main Entry: guru
    Pronunciation: 'gur-(")ü also g&-'rü
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural gurus
    Etymology: Hindi guru, from Sanskrit guru, from guru, adjective, heavy, venerable -- more at GRIEVE
    Date: 1613
    1 : a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism
    2 a : a teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern b : one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent c : a person with knowledge or expertise : EXPERT

    Hmm

  • I'm betting this stuff isn't run off a solar panel in the roof... No wonder you Americans don't wnat to sign up to Kyoto - it's all the US geeks bvoting against it so they can power up their home cinemas with dropdown TVs and 1000 megawatt surround sound!
  • So when the power goes out he can't open anything or get into his wine stash? Hope he has a serious UPS.
    • So when the power goes out he can't open anything or get into his wine stash? Hope he has a serious UPS.

      Unless his locks all 'fail safe'. Then all you need to do to get in is cut power and wait for the big CLICK.
  • by AugstWest (79042) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @12:11PM (#4189404)
    I mean, they'd better be the only copies, as well as stored on their original media, because otherwise the jackbooted thugs are going to LOVE trashing such a fine piece of technological advancement.
  • I wonder if this story has any connection to this one [slashdot.org]?
  • From the article:
    Even waking up in the morning is a high-tech venture. His alarm clock neither beeps nor buzzes; instead, music begins to play, curtains open on sunshine and lights switch on. And in the bathroom, the shower starts flowing.

    This is one of the more useful features of his house, in my opinion. This is something I would actually use, aside from the bathroom water flowing. After all...light would wake me...but the water would just be wasted as I hit the snooze button 300 times.

    Also, the ability to check in on my house from the internet might also be very useful to me. But until security is tested by several thousands of teenage hackers, I'm not about to put my house on the internet.

    While there is a certain level of cooless factor here, I'm not ready to have a technology house yet. I don't want to get too lazy.

  • by bluGill (862) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @12:34PM (#4189562)

    For a TV fanatic (just about everyone), the large TV coming down from the ceiling is a good idea. However how much of the rest is useful?

    The switches in my house work just fine, I walk into the room and turn it on. No looking, because they are all standard I can walk into just about any dark room and turn on the light, and little effort is required. (Note, europe seems to run on a different standard and I can't always find their switches). How is a touch screen different? When a mechanical switch wears out I can fiddle with it a few times until I get the parts to replace it.

    The reason the "House of the future" has never caught on is that most of the ideas are not really better. A mechanical light switch is cheap (50 cents), and uses no power. A touch, voice, or motion switch is much more exepnsive, and needs power to operate. In other words, it wastes electrisity without providing functionality we need.

    That isn't to say all new technology isn't better. Most houses should be built with sorround sound, because people would use that.

    Remember, when building a house, consider what you would really use. It might be interesting to know what the tempature of each room it, but in the end who cares?

  • ... who is the REAL Indiana Jones!!

  • Seems like he's making some progress in the field of non-obvious remote residence observation. Just the kind of technology that gives our friends in Justice an Orwellian woody. I don't know about you, but I like to be the only one with keys to my locks and passwords to my hidden cameras. Funny, doors can be unlocked from anywhere but no scr1pt k1ds are getting any of his booze.
  • Check it out here. Oh well, at least now I have more goals to shoot for. I'll probably have to forgo the movie theatre for now. His house is about 10x larger than mine. :)

    -Restil
  • by namespan (225296)
    But.... in the event of a big solar flare or a nuke going off his house becomes just like mine!

    Then again, I suppose if either of those events were to happen, maybe audio/video on demand and cool touchscreens wouldn't be your biggest worries.

  • I love gadgets too, but they're a real headache. My house is only 2500 or so square feet. I've only got one car. But it seems like I'm constantly debugging the damn things. My car stereo, for instance, has a fancy automatic security panel to disguise it from thieves. It sounded cool, but now it won't work in the rain. Humidity jams it. My cordless phone battery is starting to suck. The list goes on and on.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.

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