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  1. #1

    • "I Break Things"
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    Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    While at work today I struggled with the question of how to write this thread. I didn't want it to come off as a rant, or have an elitist attitude. In the end I felt it was best left unwritten until I had some time to think about it. Let me start by saying thank you. Thank you to the CM who signed me in on Sunday, and allowed me to join her, and her party on their trip to the House of the Future. I didn't say anything at the time because I wanted everyone to enjoy their trip, and I hope that my writings now do not affect our friendship.

    My name says it all, one part Tech Junkie, one part Jungle Skipper. It's a clash of two very opposite styles, and somewhere in the middle there I am! Part of my job, my day to day fun, is designing, building, and debugging various automation systems. To me it is the ultimate techie dream job! I work with everything, learn everything, play with everything and it rocks. When you take that, and enter the House of the Future, things come crashing down.

    The first thing that I felt HoF lacked was biometrics. Simple things, fingerprint scanner for one which would personalize each panel to the CM who is demonstrating it allowing them to use any panel with their own personal settings. Voice recognition, which is even easier. You talk to a program for 5 minutes, normal speech, and it learns the various tones of your voice and speech patterns. Then you don't even need a touchpanel, all you need is to walk into a room and there you go.

    Digital Frames and Smart tables are nice, but what about allowing you to drop the phone, dump the pictures, sort them, then frame them in their respective areas without ever leaving the table. And if you want to change them, touch the frame, then within a specific time touch a different picture. Or design a theme which allows the pictures to all change or rotate depending on who passes them. Morphing art would be nice. Or even better, wallpaper that changes at a press, depending on which color you want.

    Big beautiful touchpanels streaming movies are nice, and tv remotes seem to be a necessity... but they aren't. What about wireless touchpanels for the presenters, allowing them to preview what they are about to show in a futuristic way, with that personalized biometric scanner I was talking about. And how about in wall mudded over speakers, and glass speakers... so you don't even see where the sound is coming from you just hear it.

    It's nice to be able to change the color on a fountain... but what about designing a whole show sequence? How about being able to design the flow pattern of different fountains, along with color, and height, then add the Disney music of your choice.

    Magic mirrors are fun, in a childish kid way. What about a full body scanner which can tell you your sizes in a moment, then adjust the clothes and accessories on the screen to fit your selection IN REAL TIME. While we're at it toss in voice recognition so it doesn't need to be turned on by a program.

    The kitchen was fun, sadly the magic sink wasn't working, then again neither was the normal one. I still don't understand the concept of a magic sink, and an old fashioned one, but that's just me. How about a little automation though. While we don't have actual food replicators or hydraters yet... how about inventing them with a little Disney Magic. Or how about a fridge that can digitally display anything you want to put on it... notes, uploads from your phone or camera... kids can finger paint on it and it can stream live media. How about a garden that grows right in front of you! They plant the seed and in a moment have fresh tomatoes.

    Then there is the kid's pirate room... which has a really cool cannon that can leave a digital image on the wall... yeah just like Duckhunt! The various animation was cool, well integrated, but more of a show and less of a home tour sort of feel.

    This is a fraction of what was going through my mind today while I worked on various products. The sad thing is these are the products of today. Disney is displaying the products of yesterday and passing them off as the future! so much for Disney Magic.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  2. #2

    • Sock Puppet
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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    they really need to get rid of the, what the hell ever the guy is at the front porch is lame.... i could live without the haphazard "going to china" story line either, just let the merits of it shine on it's own or redo it in a GE theater experience or something

  3. #3

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    It isn't the house of the future, it is the "Dream Home"






    ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
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  4. #4

    • Minion
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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Analyst View Post
    It isn't the house of the future, it is the "Dream Home"


    True, but then what's it doing in Tomorrowland?
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

    Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
    Disney sequel):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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    Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

  5. #5

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    I dont consider innoventions a part of tomorrowland anymore haha. It's more like the dark cloud that you enter.






    ~ Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday tomorrow and fantasy
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  6. #6

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Analyst View Post
    I dont consider innoventions a part of tomorrowland anymore haha. It's more like the dark cloud that you enter.
    Either way it is being presented as a futuristic house when the reality is it has severely outdated tech. Granted technology is constantly upgrading... but when you pass a cannon off as high tech while I can plug in a 1988 NES and get Duckhunt on a projector... just saying!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  7. #7

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    OK, I vote on letting Techskip being the person in charge of redoing Tomorrowland.

  8. #8

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Techskip, I really like your ideas about what could have gone into this attraction. Biometrics is really something that could have been shown off. In fact, I wonder if this is part of the Dream Home that isn't fully running yet. According to the official press release:
    The Dream Home “recognizes” members of the Elias family as they enter the home. The dog door even recognizes the family dog!
    As the Dream Home notes the presence of individual members of the Elias family, the surroundings in the Great Room – pictures on the walls, music in the sound system – automatically adjust to the preferences of the family member who is in the room.
    Hmmm, I would love to see how this would work, because I certainly didn't see any of this type of technology when I went through the house last weekend. And techskip, it sounds like you have some pretty good experience playing with this kind of biometric technology. I'm kinda jealous, you have a pretty sweet gig! I also thought your big idea for the kitchen was cool: a multi-purpose display on the fridge? I'd love to see that!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Analyst View Post
    It isn't the house of the future, it is the "Dream Home"
    Disney Analyst, you also make a good observation. Disney has no where marketed this attraction as being the "House of the Future." That's an old attraction that you can read about in this excellent Yesterland profile. But many of us continue to use this old name from a completely different attraction that was removed from the park 41 years ago. The official press release--conveniently posted here by Darkbeer--always refers to it as the "Innoventions Dream Home". I actually find it remarkable that an attraction so long ago removed from the park inspires this incredible sense of nostalgia. In fact so much so, that we project a desired name onto the new attraction. And thus false expectations are raised.
    Quote Originally Posted by animagusurreal View Post
    True, but then what's it doing in Tomorrowland?
    I think many of us recognize that Tomorrowland's theme is kind of messy. FNSV, Autopia, HISTA, BLAB...are any of these attractions set in the future? (I know, that's been subject of many other threads!) And Innoventions itself is full of "current" technology: Segways, XBox 360s, Game kiosks...the Dream Home fits in perfectly. By no means does this give it a free pass, but it's not the House of the Future.

  9. #9

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    and just a note, half the technology in the dream home is something most people have not yet experienced. I mean microsoft surface technology was just released this year to companies, it's not available for homes yet.. The sink is really cool, who cares if it doesn't do or add anything.

    I take it for what it is, a place filled with cool things, that I get to interact with that I normally wouldn't be able to unless I worked for a company that had access, or was filthy rich.

    Tech obviously has a background with these items, he works with them.. Unfortunately the majority of us don't, and this is our first time being able to see them, and use them.






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  10. #10

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Analyst View Post
    and just a note, half the technology in the dream home is something most people have not yet experienced.
    That's exactly what I think. I haven't had a chance to see the home besides pictures, but it seems that although the technology isn't by itself "cutting edge" from a research standpoint, the utilization of it in a home in "Anytown U.S.A." is. For example, I used to work at Cisco Systems which has been working on advanced video conferencing and VoIP for years, but it's still a novelty in consumer homes.

    That being said, I definitely hope that they will update it every so often.

  11. #11

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Odd enough seeing this, tech, because today boy solo and I had this discussion:

    Me: Hey, remember the house of the future?
    Boy solo: Psh, you mean house of the rich present?

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


  12. #12

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    I, too, would like to see something futuristic that is actually only Disney magic -- for now.
    How about converting People Mover track into potato couches, like those in Wall-e? Where something goes terribly wrong near the end?
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  13. #13

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    Sad Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    It looks like the folks over at the New York Times agree with you, TechSkip:
    Design Notebook: The Future Knocks Again

    So completely on the money. At a time when our future was never more in doubt, we need an "optimistic vision", but I believe that includes acknowledging and at least pretending there are solutions to our problems. Throw in a few mentions of solar panels and wind turbines in the script. Have the lights turn off when nobody's in the room. LED lighting? Throw a dang bone.

    It's also absurd that Autopia still runs on gas, but this is just beyond the pale.

    Anyway, haven't renewed our APs, and I doubt that I will. Fix it, management!

  14. #14

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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by Cactushugr View Post
    It looks like the folks over at the New York Times agree with you, TechSkip:
    Design Notebook: The Future Knocks Again
    Well that was a fun read. Couple things to note since people brought up the whole "new to us" technology argument.

    You can use touchpanels at most self-checkout kiosks in various grocery stores. Some of the upscale ones used to even have a touchpanel on your cart (various pilot programs). A lot of the machines in Vegas are touch sensitive as well. Then you have various colleges and universities, not just the big boys either ( I know several community colleges that have touchpanel systems for classroom av automation). Then we have those wonderful hospitals and various medical clinics which LOVE touchpanels. Military applications, Research facilities. Some mid to high end condos come with them and many more are already being built. My point... we've seen touchpanels since before Startrek came out, nothing new!

    Radio ID... wow... that would be amazing if I didn't have a pay n go that uses the same thing to get gas. Or if it wasn't offered on a variety of cars as keyless entry. Or if there wasn't this thing called "bluetooth". Or if you couldn't tag pets with it. Most companies use a combination of magnetic locks and rfid sensors to restrict access to sensitive areas, I know Disney does! Again... nothing new... in fact very old technology that has simply come into new uses.

    Digital Photo Frames, couple years back it would have been impressive. Now, what size and color would you like, they have a whole aisle of them at Wal-Mart! Now if they had gone with video frames, where you touch the picture and it recounts the entire memory then I might have been slightly more impressed.

    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!

    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. And the smart table isn't brand new tech, it has also been around a while... there really just isn't much of a use for it is all! It's a novelty!

    I did enjoy the entire commentary on the radio id tags. That NY Times article was interesting in that regard. A lot of what he commented on was not working when I was there. In fact the Dad had an extremely hard time just trying to get the puzzle piece to work! Knowing what I know about home integration solutions... that house needs help if it even wants to resemble the present let alone the future!
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  15. #15

    • Cranky Dragon is Cranky
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    Re: Future House, Present Design, Past Tech

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    My point... we've seen touchpanels since before Startrek came out, nothing new!
    Well, apparently touch panels were too new-fangled and complicated for the customers over at Taste Pilot's Grill, or they wouldn't have had to take them out. Maybe we can use the Dream Home as a tutorial, and bring back my favorite ordering system.

    Sadly, though, with the pace of consumer electronics, even if they went for the most cutting edge goodies, by the time they could get the Dream Home completely tricked out to be the Best House EVER, they'd be having to change it again. I fear it is not destined to be around long.
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