HOME IS WHERE THE FUTURE IS EXHIBIT SHOWCASES HIGH-TECH DOMICILE.Byline: Elizabeth Weise Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
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Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) , Intel, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard have put a lot of thought into making you think less.
Their cyberhome of the year 2000, unveiled Wednesday, is a tour of gizmos ranging from electronic butlers to computerized grocery lists, designed to soothe and minimize the irritants that shape a harried day. But their high-tech solutions don't necessarily beat the low-tech basics out there now.
No offense. There is definitely some cool technology on view in the mocked-up rooms at the blasthaus gallery in San Francisco's trendy Multimedia Gulch.
Take the 42-inch, flat panel screen in the living room showing the science fiction masterwork mas·ter·work
See masterpiece. ``Bladerunner.'' No cathode ray tube See CRT.
(hardware) cathode ray tube - (CRT) An electrical device for displaying images by exciting phosphor dots with a scanned electron beam. CRTs are found in computer VDUs and monitors, televisions and oscilloscopes. , no enormous box. Just one huge picture on one thin screen. It's also $20,000. That's enough to buy 10 Mitsubishi 50-inch home theater An audio/video entertainment center that has a large-screen TV and hi-fi system with three speakers in the front (left, right and center) and left and right speakers in the rear. Starting in the early 1990s, video inputs were added to stereo receivers and preamplifiers. systems.
Then there's the Car-PC presented by Intel. It's a computer for the vehicle loaded with voice-recognition software that turns on the radio when you say ``radio,'' and dials a number when you say ``phone.''
Given the statistics about the dangers of motoring while cell-phoning, this is useful. But the cordless headset that links you to the system would be illegal to use while driving in most states.
In the back seat, the kids get their own screens connected to the Car-PC computer, loaded with games. They use wireless ``air mouses'' to play and hopefully keep themselves amused.
This is good, because while they're doing that, you're receiving e-mail, which the Car-PC reads to you, as well as answering video phone calls and checking an on-board map tied to a global positioning satellite to ensure you're not lost.
While you're away from the house, IBM's prototype video doorbell is your butler. Ring the bell and a voice booms out from a speaker that no one's home right now, but leave a video message, won't you please?
This is a novel idea, except that in much of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. nowadays no one drops in without calling first - and they'd have already left you a message on your phone machine.
IBM suggests you might use the system to screen visitors at the front door. Of course, instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a built-in video camera, you can buy a peephole at the hardware store for about $5.
Coming home to a hard disk full of digitalized video of stray salesmen and perky perk·y
adj. perk·i·er, perk·i·est
1. Having a buoyant or self-confident air; briskly cheerful.
2. Jaunty; sprightly.
perk missionaries also overlooks another practical low-tech solution to the no-one-at-home problem - yellow sticky notes.
Finally at home, your first stop is the kitchen and finding something for dinner. Here the technology has taken another questionable turn.
A bar-code scanner is mounted under the cabinet, where most people would keep a can opener. Run the Universal Price Code on your can of Campbell's tomato soup Tomato soup is a soup made from tomatoes. It is commonly used as an ingredient in more complex dishes, and, unlike most savory soups, it may be served either hot or cold. It can be made from chunks of tomato or with only a puree. by it and up pops information on the nearby screen - you're holding a can of Campbell's tomato soup.
It then tells you how long it will take to heat said can in the microwave and conveniently sets the microwave for that amount of time.
Don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. what else to do with it? You can have the scanner connect you automatically to the Campbell's Web site, to pick up recipes for dishes you might prepare using tomato soup. Should this be the last can of tomato soup in the house, the system will make a note to add it to your shopping list.
Worth it? Hard to say. The label on the can also explains how to cook it and probably throws in a few recipes to boot. Rip it Rip It is an energy drink that is produced and distributed by National Beverage Corp., maker of Shasta and Faygo. It is National Beverage Corp.'s first energy drink. Rip It is usually sold for one dollar or less, while most energy drinks are sold for about two dollars. off, turn it over and stick it under a magnet on the refrigerator and you've got a nice blank grocery list as well.
The real question is whether the time, money and bother they represent is justified.
If you like tinkering and gadgets, it might be. But if you just want to get through the day with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of time and money saved, sometimes the old-fashioned ways work fine.
Heat up some soup, will you? I'll go see who's at the door.
Photo: John Finan of IBM demonstrates a bar-code scanner at the Cyberhome 2000 show in San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden .