Microsoft Reveals 'Smart Home' Vision in New Video

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has shared its vision of what the future home might look like. In a recently released YouTube video, Microsoft revealed cutting-edge voice- and motion-enabled innovations.

Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has long been an advocate for touch screen displays and voice-recognition technology. The YouTube video appears to indicate that these concepts could realistically be put into practice, with some estimating that the technology could hit retailers in as little as three years' time.

Microsoft's Fully Connected Home

The video, titled "Microsoft's Future Vision: Live, Work, Play", begins by outlining Microsoft's vision of the ideal, connected home. Here, smart appliances send each other information and communicate with humans.

For example, the homeowner in the video is able to control certain household functions from a mobile device. Appliances in the home are shown to power down automatically when finished and then communicate pertinent information to humans, such as "the washing is done," and "there is no milk in the fridge." (Source:

For the homeowner, an oversized, wall-integrated touch screen (the size of nearly an entire interior house wall) displays images transferred from a mobile device.

So, instead of hanging photographs, for example, the homeowner simply projects their desired image onto the wall-integrated touch screen, calls out a voice command, and the photos are instantly sent out to the digital picture frames around the house.

Microsoft's video also explores the use of touch- and voice-activated technologies in the kitchen. Here, the individual doing the cooking needs only to dictate the ingredients available and a kitchen-based device will be able to call up a list of recipe suggestions based on the food items on hand.

Kinect, Bing Essential to Microsoft's Vision

Microsoft has a significant advantage in one day making their innovative ideas a reality thanks to the continuous advances made through Kinect, the company's motion recognition hardware.

Bing, Microsoft's own search engine, could also play an important role in bringing Microsoft's vision to life. Together, these two Microsoft products could make the Redmond, Washington-based firm a pioneer in future home innovation. (Source:

The YouTube video outlining Microsoft's vision of the future can be seen by clicking here.

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