Microsoft Home: Technology of the Future

Dennis Faas's picture

Late last week, Microsoft unveiled the newest update to its 12-year old Microsoft Home -- a conceptual model that showcases possible future technologies and how they would be integrated into the everyday home and family life.

What is the Microsoft Home?

Since its launch in 1994, the Microsoft Home has been a jump off point for new ways of thinking about how technology potentially impacts our the day-to-day existence. Developers from the software giant's Consumer Prototyping and Strategy Team have partnered with research staff and product groups to generate revolutionary and future-focused technology featured in the home.

Jonathan Curtis, Director of the company's Consumer Prototyping and Strategy Team comments that "technology is woven throughout the fabric of people's daily lives, not only at work and school but increasingly in every room of their home...With the Microsoft Home, we strive to continuously re-imagine and extend the limits of what technology can do to make their daily activities more enjoyable, efficient and productive." (Source:

Rosie the Robot Maid?

Many times when we think about the future, images of television shows like the Jetsons may play out in our minds. Although the latest Microsoft Home reincarnation doesn't have flying cars or robot housekeepers, the home does features prototypes of what technology might look like and how it might function in the very near (five to ten year) future.

Exciting Future Technologies

Some interesting technological creations that are being showcased in the new Microsoft Home, are a variety of small appliances that can be controlled by the homeowner via the use of tablet PC's or cellular phones. Microsoft officials are assuming that computer power, mesh networking, and LCD and OLED screens will become cheaper in the near future. So cheap, in fact, that the company is predicting that people will be able to interact with computers from all locations in their home.

If the Microsoft Home was your home, some cool futuristic technologies that you would be using might include:

The mailbox located outside tracks the location of your mail carrier by GPS so that you can get an exact ETA of when your mail will arrive.

When friends and family come for a visit, their picture is taken by digital camera, and is sent along with a notification to your cell phone. You can either ask the visitor questions or unlock your front door for them to enter.

Are you a fashion maven? If so, your mirror doubles as a screen and when you hold your clothes up to it you can get information about the clothing, how to wear it, and what to match it with in your closet.

Interactive wallpaper serves as a giant display for the Web and video. (Source:

That Sounds Cool... Can I Book a Tour?

Unfortunately, the Microsoft Home isn't open to the public. Microsoft has made the home available only for the company's employees and customers to tour by appointment.

Although you can't physically go there, you can view an online video of some the features showcased in the 2006 adaptation of the Microsoft Home. To view the video, log on to:

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