This is a wonderful video compilation of different visions of what the smart home of the future might look like. The list goes back to 1932. A very big thanks to Wareable for putting this together, top work.
I love the early Mad Hatter stuff but how close is Microsoft’s vision? The article dates the video as 1999. Windows 95 had come and gone by then but that looks like a Windows 3.1 style interface. So maybe it was NT – Microsoft’s early “robust” OS. To my shame I can’t remember what NT looked like but it’s possible that even the futurists at Microsoft didn’t think they would get anyone to believe your house would run on Windows 95. But I like Microsoft’s home of the future. Those keypads looked horrible but effective. They look suspiciously like keypads you can buy today. Scenes are deonstrated and that pretty well defines how you market “scenes” even now. When Junior fishes his Pocket PC out of his unfeasibly large pocket you can substitute iPhone6+. The thing I like most about it is the bit where they’re talking about media and not needing to know where it’s coming from. I’m less sure about the oven announcing “The cooking period is ended” – clearly they reckoned a “dish” variable might have been pushing it.
It’s missing two things. I’m assuming the shot when the family goes on vacation and realises they’ve left the lights on didn’t make the final cut. It’s probably on the DVD. Less forgiveably it doesn’t have Elektro, the smoking robot with attitude from 1939. Schoolboy error but let’s remember this was the period when Microsoft believed that tormenting users with an animated paper clip was the future. “It looks like you are trying to turn on your lights…” Maybe not.
Have you got a favourite? Let us know what you think of this in the comments.