Disney’s New 'House of the Future'

13th Feb 2008 | 15:29

Disney’s New 'House of the Future'

Set to open this spring

Want to know what 'the future' is going to look like? Of course you do.

Disney has announced plans today that it is to open a new ‘House of the Future’ attraction at Disneyland's Tomorrowland this coming May.

The $15 million, 5,000-square-foot attraction is a collaboration of The Walt Disney Company, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, software maker LifeWare and homebuilder Taylor Morrison.

Showcasing the digital lifestyle

Disney’s new ‘smart’ house is set to look like a normal suburban home outside, but inside is set to feature cutting-edge hardware, software and touch-screen systems to simplify modern living, all being demonstrated by Disney actors.

"It's much different than a spiel that you would get at a trade show," said Dave Miller, director of alliance development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. "We won't get into the bits and the bytes. It will be about the digital lifestyle and how that lifestyle can help you."

What the future used to be like

Disney’s last  "House of the Future"  was a pod-shaped, plastic dwelling that opened in the late 1950s and only stayed open until 1967.

"The 1950s home didn't look like anything, anywhere. It was space-age and kind of cold," according to Sheryl Palmer, president and chief executive of TaylorMorrison. "We didn't want the (new) home to intimidate the visitors. We want the house to be real accessible to our guests."

In the latest version, there is talk of systems to allow residents to transfer digital photos, videos and music among televisions and computers in different rooms at the click of a button and touch-screen technology built into appliances, furniture and countertops.

Hang on a second! This isn’t ‘the future’, surely we can do all of this stuff already?

Not waiting for robots

“The home will also feature new uses for devices that many visitors may already own, as well as technologies that are still five or 10 years down the road,” said Mike Seamons, vice president of marketing at home automation software specialists LifeWare

"If people walk through there and say, 'I don't have anything in this house at all,' then we've totally failed," Seamons said. "We're not waiting for robots to happen in order for it to be a reality."

Source: Associated Press

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