Mother Magazine Wired Cover

House Of Future Will Be Very Smart!

By Laurie Kobliska, Syndicated Columnist

Future HouseSTOCKTON DESK - When you come home at the end of a long day the house of the future will be equipped to please and comfort you in new ways.

Your security system will scan you through its video cameras, recognize you and make you feel welcome at the front door. Lights will turn on and off as you make your way through your home and adjust themselves for brightness as you desire.

Your favorite music will come on and your information center will come alive, reminding you of what's left on your to-do list, updating you on the news and letting you know about any e-mail or phone calls you've gotten.

Homes like this could become available by the year 2000 many believe because most of the technology is available right now.

Flat video screens the size of your wall are already on the market, at a price not to accessible for the average consumer but within a few years that will all change.

Consider the CD-ROM.  Only two to three years ago, CD-ROMs were expensive options for home computers. Today, the average consumer won’t buy a computer that doesn’t have one built-in.'

Organizations like the National Association of Home Builders have systems developed for them by the Smart House Consortium, a collection of businesses involved in developing and producing components, an advisory council of utilities and trade groups, and Smart House Home Centers, which sell, install and service the systems.

Some of the major players are the Honeywell, Detroit Edison, IBM, and Microsoft.

The cost for the systems exceeds $10,000.

According to computer service designer and Internet Web guru, Thomas Hobbs, M.S., houses will tend to become more interactive. To get there from here, there will be design changes, Hobbs said. The changes in design will be moving toward eliminating spaces that people don’t use much and maximizing the spaces that have greater use demands.

Formal living rooms and dining rooms are going to be a thing of the past. Kitchens, family rooms and great rooms will become huge, Hobbs said.

Kitchens will be much larger. They’ll be as much as 10 to 15 percent larger, They will also be smarter. The coming technological changes will be an answer to the increasing human need for time-savings and utility.

As prices and availability of high technology hit their flash points the computer service industry needs to be prepared and build in change.

That's just what Hobbs is doing. He told Mother Wired reporters that he is already designing for what we know will be the wiring needs of the future, and for some that may not have anticipated.

Homes that aren’t built that way — or remodeled to meet the new needs — will become as obsolete as early computers are now, he said.

As we approach the year 2000 people must already be thinking about how to build smarter homes or they'll be left in the past.


Mother Magazine Wired is a copyright of Mother Magazine 1996.
Other trademarks property of their respective holders.