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Gadget Guru Builds High-Tech Haven 227

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 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. is a good start. and Look at the applied digital [] 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.. 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!

  • by image ( 13487 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:09AM (#4188956) Homepage
    Check out [] for actual information about the house, not the short CNN blurb.
  • I like Escient (Score:5, Informative)

    by BlueGecko ( 109058 ) <benjamin.pollack ... minus physicist> 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.
  • 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).
  • Closed technology (Score:3, Informative)

    by walt-sjc ( 145127 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @11:46AM (#4189210)
    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 [] who developed the technology, and the Lonmark [] site which has info on integrators, manufacturers, etc.
  • by rocnar ( 445827 ) on Tuesday September 03, 2002 @12:40PM (#4189597)
    It should look nice from the outside... he spent somewhere around 300k just to landscape his driveway.

    (I happen to know the landscaping company's owners.)

The best defense against logic is ignorance.