Would you want a smart house filled with touchscreen devices?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Over the years, the concept of a "smart house" hasn't been completely forgotten. But, while our smartphones and other gadgets have managed to get smarter each year, our houses have taken a backseat to the action. Sure, our appliances are certainly getting smarter and more advanced (and ridiculously expensive because of it), but the house itself seems to be keeping a steady pace in incremental updates. We see smart thermostats, and a few other "smart" pieces throughout a household, but for the most part if we want to make a house smart it needs an accessory of some kind.
Recently I saw a video from Corning called "A Day Made of Glass... Made possible by Corning." This video was about the future, but aiming for "not too far" into the future. It's a world that is filled with glass, and interactive glass to boot. It is a new and unique way to make a house "smart," but using the technology that we incorporate in our everyday lives in one way or another. Touchscreens aren't new, and they've managed to become far more advanced than some people ever imagined. If companies like Corning can figure out a way to make it a realistic proposition for most homes to have a glass touchscreen wall in their bedroom, then the future looks like a pretty bright place.
But, while Corning is adamant that their glass wall, and windows, and everything else displayed in the video are durable, I would have to imagine that most people would be pretty skeptical about incorporating so much glass into their home. And, let's face it, we all know this stuff is going to be expensive. So, putting that much touch-based glass, with smart technology encapsulated inside, just seems like it would be aiming to have a massive insurance policy in place.
It's the idea that has me captivated. If you aren't excited about the possibilities from this video, even if it is steeped in science-fiction at the moment, then I'm not sure what to tell you. A day made of glass is a great idea, and it's one that I would love to see utilized in our everyday world. And yes, I'm more than willing to wait for it. I've been waiting long enough, after all.
What's captivating to me is that some of the technology shown in the video is technology we've seen recently, or even in the past. For example, they put the glass phone down on the counter top, and the countertop is aware of what's going on in the device. They take it a step further by removing the video image from the device and putting it "onto" the counter, but the same idea that we've seen in the past is right there. With Microsoft's Surface technology, a table can certainly be made aware of what is placed upon it, whether it's a credit card or phone.
Right now, accessories play a big part in making a house "smart," and that's something I don't think the future should lose. Sure, having an entire house made of glass that is interactive and smart is fantastic, but I also think tablets can play a big part in this world. A tablet to maximize efficiency within the house, and to build upon the interaction within the house itself, is a great idea. And, whenever we catch up to this future, our tablets are going to be so impressive, it will probably be unbelievable to some people.
What this video does more than anything else, though, is show how beautiful, interactive and fun our future will be in the technology market. And that's what technology should be about: fun. It should be about developing and expanding on new ideas, and creating something that is not only functional and reliable, but also breathtaking and stupefying. We should be blown away by the new devices coming down the pipe, and not wondering if 2012 is going to be another year of more evolution.
And, is it just me, or did the phone in the video look like a futuristic iPhone?
Corning has made a video to not only get me excited about the future and "smart houses," but a video that should get everyone excited about technology. What do you think of it? Would you want a house that's this "smart" and interactive?