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  1. #16

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    So again I ask, where is the magic? Where is the future? Where is the "dream" in this Dream Home. Because all I see is a commercial for a lot of things most people already have.
    I have to agree, it's the feeling that one is walking into one inescapable commercial that keeps me out of that stupid building in the first place, and this has sadly done nothing to change that. Is this just a symptom of Disney's wholesale exchange of imagination for product placement *ahem* Small World *ahem*? I believe in fairy dust and magic, I do, they just make it so dang hard sometimes!

    Anyway, just thought I should also note I found the Times article via TreeHugger who had some interesting points to make as well.

  2. #17

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactushugr View Post
    Anyway, just thought I should also note I found the Times article via TreeHugger who had some interesting points to make as well.
    I like this quote...
    The builder said "The 1950s home didn't look like anything, anywhere. It was space-age and kind of cold," "We didn't want the (new) home to intimidate the visitors. We want the house to be real accessible to our guests." So Disney designer Tom Zofrea made it a mix of Art Nouveau and Craftsman Style. "The design celebrates the inventive thinking and optimism of both yesterday and today" But there seems to be nothing inventive at all, just more electronic junk than I have ever seen in one place, most of it off the shelf Microsoft and HP stuff. As one commenter said in an earlier post, ""Instead of fantasizing about advancements in science and technology, we are once again led to simply fantasize about being rich."
    Which basically sums up how I felt. I kept waiting for Richard Simmons to roll out on a segway and try to sell me something in an informercial while "wheelin to the oldies".
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  3. #18

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    At least you got an introduction to what this "new exhibit" is about. I didn't even get that, when I checked out Innoventions on Sunday. When they FINALLY allowed me to be part of a group that got an introduction, yeah the soccer coach's story, party in the backyard etc was WAY overplayed, but in amongst his john candy impersonation, he did at least show what to look for in the house.

    However, with different features in different rooms, it's just much easier if one cast member is there demonstrating the different features, instead of just guessing what's suppose to happen. Without and intro, the cast members are telling you to go to the "party tent in the backyard" or "run out to the front yard" sound like they are talking in some sort of code. It's more Twighlight Zone than Tower of Terror!

    I talked about my experience in the House of the Future in my report at post 36 (around the Matterhorn pictures) . The whole house of the Future was a pretty disorganized disaster.

  4. #19

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    At least you got an introduction to what this "new exhibit" is about. I didn't even get that, when I checked out Innoventions on Sunday. When they FINALLY allowed me to be part of a group that got an introduction, yeah the soccer coach's story, party in the backyard etc was WAY overplayed, but in amongst his john candy impersonation, he did at least show what to look for in the house.
    The "introduction" was actually more annoying then anything else. We had the mysterious friend who was coming over to visit... which had this invitation that could let everyone in (radio tag). Not much of an intro if you ask me.

    After reading the article I did some more thinking about how the current, could be improved. One thought was a virtual library in the office. Instead of an actual bookcase, have a large digital painting of one on a wall with the simple title of "Library". Possibly a nice painting of the great library of Alexandria... or any of the massive libraries of learning. To access this library simply touch the painting, and you are presented with various options of what you wish to read ranging from subject to author to genre... you get the idea. After a brief selection process a notebook tablet pops out of the frame as a digital book... with the entire selection downloaded on it. The presenter can then turn around and read to the kids as images from the story are displayed where the painting previously was. Current technology... yes... but a simple, elegant, practical way to impress everyone around especially the kids. The host could even feign embarrassment and mention that this is an older model "sorry I have to use my hands with this one you know the new ones are voice activated"

    The kitchen IMHO was a missed opportunity. One thing that strikes me is how successful the "Junior Chef" program was. How about a "Future Chef" program. Where kids are encouraged to drop a small tablet on a cookie sheet, or in a cupcake tray. The CM then places the tray in a slot beneath the counter. A button is pressed or a voice command given. Then a few moments later what appears to be the same tray is removed from this "high energy oven" and the baked treats are served to the kids.

    A substantial break in theme is the broadcasting of current programming in the world of tomorrow. I'll ignore the use of actual displays over using smart walls for the moment. How hard would it be to have an "incoming call" and then answer it as you talk to a friend on Mars, or Saturn... and explain to everyone there is a slight delay, but nothing like the 40 minute delay the first explorers experienced when talking with Mission Control from Mars! How about being able to control a "subspace camera" on a meteor about to be sucked into a black hole, which is being broadcast "live" as researchers all over the planet are finally able to study the inner workings of this phenomenon.

    I am constantly amazed at the tricks of Houdini. How he was able to do so much more with so much less. I am constantly curious as to what he may have done if he had this, or that, instead of the antiquated equipment that he was forced to work with. The same could be said of Walt, and his Nine Old Men. I am confident in saying that they did a whole lot more, with a whole lot less... I wish the same could be said of the current WDI. So many "tech toys" and a complete lack of imagination as to how to use and display them.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  5. #20

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    I didn't see the original house of the future, but weren't things in that house not conceivable at the time? Boy solo and I were a bit disappointed, except that we couldn't wait to use the computer table things. We wanted like, robot butlers and pill food. Ovens that magically made food out of dust or pills, appliances that talked. The closest thing we thought was actually futuristic was the idea of the magic mirror, that was still a disappointment because the hair and clothes weren't even real. Where was Pixar, they could have made some very real looking clothes. The kitchen and backyard needed more attention. Fact is, in the home of the future, I shouldn't see things from the present.

    But I guess it is just a "dream" home. But really, what's the "dream"? Being rich?

    "I'm not funny. What I am is brave." - Lucille Ball


  6. #21

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    Someone else brought up VOIP... while not exactly the same... Vontage... same concept. We have a VOIP system here at my work, it comes in extremely handy. However if I want I can add my internet, cable, and phone all on one DSL and that is a standard package sold by most companies TODAY!
    I'm not saying that they should put VoIP in the "Dream House", I was saying that it's an example of something that's still novel to be in a house even though it's been around for a long time. That doesn't mean it isn't mundane.

    Why exactly would Disney pay money to develop all of these technologies? And why would companies want to include them when they: a) likely want to keep their ideas to themselves until they are ready to go to market, and b) might not have fully functioning versions?

    And isn't it impossible to have technology of tomorrow, today? I would rather see actual working technology rather than some fake model posing as the family's "personal spaceship" or something. Yes, it would be great if Disney spent the money to create all these neat new technologies for use here. But unfortunately they have to work within the constraints of what companies are willing to offer. In the age of the Internet, people know about a new technology almost instantly, and considering that this exhibit was probably being planned for at least a year, you already are working off of old tech.

    So, I DO agree that, of course, more futuristic stuff would be better. But it would also be great if there were no strollers, lines, or trash in Disneyland.
    Last edited by jett; 07-10-2008 at 11:18 PM.

  7. #22

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by jett View Post
    I'm not saying that they should put VoIP in the "Dream House", I was saying that it's an example of something that's still novel to be in a house even though it's been around for a long time. That doesn't mean it isn't mundane.
    And I am saying it is no longer novel to be in a house when it is a standard package offered by most local cable companies!

    Why exactly would Disney pay money to develop all of these technologies? And why would companies want to include them when they: a) likely want to keep their ideas to themselves until they are ready to go to market, and b) might not have fully functioning versions?

    And isn't it impossible to have technology of tomorrow, today? I would rather see actual working technology rather than some fake model posing as the family's "personal spaceship" or something. Yes, it would be great if Disney spent the money to create all these neat new technologies for use here. But unfortunately they have to work within the constraints of what companies are willing to offer. In the age of the Internet, people know about a new technology almost instantly, and considering that this exhibit was probably being planned for at least a year, you already are working off of old tech.
    If it is impossible to have the technology of tomorrow today, then why bother building Tomorrowland at all? Why bother building something like StarTours... it isn't real... why build Space Mountain... the average person can't rocket in space right now... the point is to fuel the imagination, not to fuel a technological race. Disney is not limited to the constraints of what companies are willing to offer... if that was the case we wouldn't have Disneyland because guess what... even back then they used old technology in new ways and MADE Disneyland, it wasn't off the shelf merchandise that put this place on the map it was the imagination of highly creative individuals using what they had and then filling in the gaps with showmanship. I would welcome a combination of imagination and technology. Technology should be the highlights, but when it isn't ready use smoke and mirrors to make it look good. House of the Future had a microwave a FULL DECADE before it was actually available... do you think it worked... no... but it was there. Same as the in wall TV. I walk through the Dream Home and all I see is an over reliance on outdated technology, and a complete lack of both imagination and innovation!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  8. #23

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by jett View Post
    I'm not saying that they should put VoIP in the "Dream House", I was saying that it's an example of something that's still novel to be in a house even though it's been around for a long time. That doesn't mean it isn't mundane.
    Hey, I'm thinking of putting VoIP in my house! Build up an Asterisk box and get a 4-trunk card to interface with the incoming lines...

    And I'l get busy on it just as soon as our Circa 1960's four line Western Electric 1A2 "Shoebox" Key System fails. But judging from their reliability, it's going to be another 20 years...

    If they are trying to show us a "House Of The Future" they are failing miserably. It isn't even "House of Yesterday", some of that stuff has been out 5 years. And it sounds like they didn't even try to do any serious systems integration.

    From what I've heard and seen so far, the Technical Services guys with the old AMX Panja remotes for running the show sound and lighting remotely have higher tech toys than is shown in the House Of The Future. If you can impress someone who works on this stuff, then you know it was done right - I'm underwhelmed.

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  9. #24

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    "Instead of fantasizing about advancements in science and technology, we are once again led to simply fantasize about being rich."


    Sounds like I'm going to be longing for the days when I could sit on a brightly painted concrete mushroom and play 10-year-old preschool computer games.
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  10. #25

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by jett View Post
    And isn't it impossible to have technology of tomorrow, today? I would rather see actual working technology rather than some fake model posing as the family's "personal spaceship" or something. Yes, it would be great if Disney spent the money to create all these neat new technologies for use here. But unfortunately they have to work within the constraints of what companies are willing to offer. In the age of the Internet, people know about a new technology almost instantly, and considering that this exhibit was probably being planned for at least a year, you already are working off of old tech.

    The whole concept of looking into the future is speculating on what that future will consist of. In that vein, and following the theme of Tomorrowland and the principles that the original House of the Future set were based on, itís the IDEAS of what the house of the future could contain, not what is actually available that should be the focus.

    So if Imagineering came up with over the top (ala Jetsons) gadgets and products (yes, they could be fake, or even actual potential concepts), Tomorrowland wouldnít necessarily have to constantly be out of date. If all you want is something thatís actually working, you could just hang around Fryís Electronics.

    Disneyís whole theme park concept is generally based on fake presentation. If itís done right, it can be thrilling, fun, exciting, informative and overall quite enjoyable.

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