Enter the Future Here
This is the entrance to Microsoft's model home of the future located at the company's Executive Briefing Center in Redmond, Washington. The doors open to Microsoft's vision of what our humble abodes may look like in the not-so-distant future, where natural user interfaces on walls and countertops use technologies such as sensors, light-emitting diodes, gestures, multitouch, voice and 3-D to transform the way we live.
A Decorative Tray with a Brain
In the entryway, a decorative tray charges devices like smartphones and watches and displays information like the time, temperature and battery life. But it goes deeper than that. Here a smart watch is placed on the tray to upload details of a recent workout, automatically synching to a personal Microsoft HealthVault account for heart rate, mileage, calories burned, and information from other devices you may be wearing.
Recipes on the Counter
Using sensor technology, a kitchen countertop can assemble a grocery list, suggest recipes based on available items in the pantry and refrigerator, and then read aloud step-by-step directions. Here, directions for how to make focaccia bread are displayed on the counter.
Kitchen Display Gets Personal
This multitouch screen monitor in the kitchen uses software and services to offer personalized information such as a family's calendar, messages and appointment reminders.
Health Info on Display
The kitchen display tracks personal health information like the decorative tray in the entryway, but with more information on a larger screen. This system provides a visual of your entire health history, the potential effects of new treatments and ways to find medical experts.
Go Anywhere from Your Living Room
In The Microsoft Home living/entertainment room, you can 'virtually' visit an art gallery or retail store. The surface technology-enabled coffee table creates a life-like environment on screen via detailed, 360-degree images. You can speak with a store worker, browse and select merchandise just as you would in person.
Dining Room Table Comes Alive
In the dining room, the table can be converted into to a party scene for the kids. Guests have personalized place settings and a virtual airplane they can fly around the table surface using hand gestures.
The Writing's on the Dining Room Wall
Wall-sized displays in the dining room use cloud services to project health and diet information allowing you to monitor your food intake.
A Bedroom for Daydreaming
In the teenager's bedroom of the future, every surface is interactive. With entertainment and social connections seamlessly integrated into the walls through interactive display surfaces and touch technology, the room's design can change to match a teenager's many moods.
The Home Screen
A main home display offers up personalized digital content covering people (IM your mother!), entertainment (play some tunes or a favorite movie), information (find and make reservations at a restaurant) and environment (turn on the lights throughout the house). Content is personalized to the individual, and offers up favorites and suggestions for new media based on your preferences.
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[ For complete coverage on Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system -- including hands-on reviews, video tutorials and advice on enterprise rollouts-- see CIO.com's Windows 7 Bible. ]