Monday, May 21, 2012

Magic Mirrors Emerge from Fairy Tales

by Mike Elgan (Courtesy of Houzz)

Amazing advancements in computers, interfaces and glass point to a
future in which smart surfaces are commonplace in the home.

What Microsoft is cooking up for your kitchen. Microsoft, which is best known for software like Windows and Office, is also a research pioneer in the development of ideas and technology for homes of the future.

Microsoft researchers occasionally put together videos to demonstrate what's coming soon. These are not pie-in-the-sky fantasies but the culmination of technologies well under way in research labs at Microsoft and at universities and corporations all over the world. These scenarios for using near-future technologies, or something very close to them, are very likely.

About 4 minutes and 22 seconds into the most recent promotional video, called "Microsoft Future Vision," (click here to see video) you can see Microsoft’s vision for kitchen technology. It's all very elegant and beautiful, of course. But more important is the overarching theme and direction of human interaction with home technology: Computers and technology vanish into tables and cabinet doors, and even into the refrigerator.

The interface for all this breathtaking home technology is just like the evil queen’s technology — magic-mirror glass plus voice-controlled artificial intelligence, virtual assistant and face recognition. The glass surfaces conjure up information and ideas, video feeds and communication, all appropriate to the context of the user's intent.

In all cases, items in the home look ordinary — the table looks like a table; the fridge looks like a fridge. But the table becomes an extension of the tablet a child is using, and the refrigerator door shows a picture of what’s inside, or information like family schedules and recipes.

While this technology is still on the horizon and not yet ready to be installed in our homes today, it is interesting to see where we are headed.  At Cabinet-S-Top we are on the cutting edge and offer the latest products available for your kitchen and bath remodeling projects. Stop by and see us at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH, you'll love what you find in our showroom!  

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