Microsoft Office Labs | Microsoft futuristic concept home
October 28, 2011
Microsoft | January 6, 2000 — The Microsoft Home®, located on the company’s Redmond, WA, campus is a concept family home designed to showcase the company’s vision of the role new software will play in improving people’s quality of life. The Microsoft Home brings together under one roof a broad range of technologies, products and services that work together to make home life easier and more enjoyable for all family members.
The Microsoft Home features real home environments, such as a kitchen, family room, home theater and den, in which typical daily scenarios are demonstrated. The home is an updated version of an earlier model razed during campus renovations and is situated in a larger facility with more flexible spaces designed for easy adaptation to changing scenarios and technologies. This dynamic prototype provides a glimpse of the way people will live, work and play at home in the near future. The Microsoft Home also enables Microsoft to collect input from consumers and industry-partner companies as they experience these future capabilities before they are commercially feasible to build and sell.
The Microsoft Home scenarios
The Microsoft Home uses real-life scenarios based on typical family activities. For example, family members can let themselves in the front door without putting down their briefcase and or grocery bags. They can find out who is ringing the front door bell before walking over to answer it and who is on the phone before picking it up, helping to put an end to annoying unsolicited sales calls. In fact, the home allows its occupants to customize music playlists, control lighting levels or see who’s home from any room in the house.
Residents can enjoy entertainment of all kinds without having to operate complex equipment, and without even knowing where the entertainment is located. They can listen to their favorite music based on personalized playlists, from any room, in the car or on portable players. Residents can see all the sources of entertainment in one place, without having to switch from one device or provider to another, or they can watch TV according to their preferences, automatically tuning in to their favorite shows and channels on any set in the house. They can even use the latest digital photography to share pictures with family and friends, using a single remote.
People can send information to their car from inside the house, as well as find out what’s going on at home when they’re out, bridging the gap between the home and the rest of the world. They can easily juggle the scheduling logistics that exasperate today’s busy families by using the home’s technologies to stay in touch with school, sports teams and other communities — without phone tag.
Bringing it all together
Controlled by an easy-to-navigate and secure home Web site, the Microsoft Home features a wide variety of currently available products, including desktop and laptop PCs, many consumer electronics components, digital and security cameras, cable TV set top boxes, Visteon and Microsoft Windows® CE for Autos, the Microsoft WebTV Network TM Service, Casio Pocket PC, Microsoft Jjoystick/Ssteering Wwheel game controls and IntelliMouse® Optical pointing devices, eBooks, Van Koevering digital piano, Sensar Iris Scanner, Microsoft Office and Sega Dreamcast, as well as many games and other applications.
The Microsoft Home also demonstrates new technology that Microsoft anticipates will become available in the early years of the new millennium, including home networking with inexpensive home control and voice input, remote access to home information and control, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) devices, biometric identification for security and customization purposes, gesture-based computing, and the ability to share aggregated information across different sources such as family calendars and media schedules.
UPnP occupies a central role in Microsoft’s vision of simplifying consumer access to information, entertainment and communications throughout the home, office and everywhere in between. The UPnP home networking open standard will enable easy, straightforward connectivity and interoperability among technology devices used at home and on the road. In this way, plug-and-play principles will be adopted universally and all devices will function as peers on a home network. People will be able to enjoy the convenience and control made possible when relevant data is shared by PCs, printers, entertainment centers, game consoles, telephones, televisions, kitchen appliances, alarm systems and sprinklers.