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Editorial: My House of the Future?

May/June 2007
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2007 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 06, 2007
Nothing frightens me more than those model “homes of the future.” I recently visited one of them—the “ConnectedLife” home—at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The ConnectedLife concept is a joint creation of Microsoft, HP, LifeWare, and many others; the ConnectedLife hardware and software is available at Best Buy. The home sported all of the features that you would expect from these companies: coordination of all of the TVs and audio streams to lighting, HVAC, and security. “One remote, six main function keys. Navigation: easy.” If only life were that simple. The CES model was unusual in that trained actors acted out skits to demonstrate the numerous features, from the housewife pulling up the recipes electronically to the son zoning out in media overload. It was certainly an entertaining hour, watching the actors interact with the ConnectedLife system and (it seemed) none of their family members. But the energy reality hit us on the way out, when we passed the equipment room needed to service the connected life. Server Farm would be a better name for the equipment room since perhaps half a dozen servers were humming away ...

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