USA Today in an updated version of “the home of the future”

USA Today takes a long look at “the home of the future”:

On Microsoft’s sprawling, rustic campus, this home is a maze of futuristic rooms, a digital kitchen and interactive walls. Recipes are projected onto the kitchen counter, children can play video games from a table’s surface, and bedrooms have interactive wall posters that can be changed daily, based on the occupant’s mood.

No one lives there, but it is a template for the future. Indeed, many houses throughout the USA already have hints of Microsoft’s model home. Might this be a working blueprint for better things, of a life that just decades ago seemed possible only in the world of science fiction?

What once seemed conceivable only on The Jetsons is a real prospect in the next few years. If you’ve heard these utopian and futuristic promises before, only to be disappointed, this story is for you. Because as Americans embrace 2013 and the new year that is upon us, know this: The future of American homes is now.

The rise of intelligent devices, ongoing breakthroughs in robotics, cloud computing and other newfangled technology promise to usher in a new phase in luxuriant and wired home living. Hyperbole of years past has quickly melted away as a pantheon of tech titans — ranging from Apple and Google to Samsung and Microsoft — vie for home-field advantage. Home increasingly is where billions of dollars are expected to be spent on technology as consumers nest in their living rooms and bedrooms on smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.

I remain skeptical that most Americans will be living in fully wired homes in the near future. In contrast, people with lots of money who can afford new big homes and all of the work that goes into making new homes completely Internet friendly can already do all the article suggests.

It is also intriguing that big tech companies are interested in branding their own homes. Want to live in a Google subdivision? How about an Apple cul-de-sac? Actually, the typical Google or Apple fan would probably rather live in a trendy condo in a New Urbanist neighborhood. Perhaps Microsoft could corner the suburban market…or maybe Samsung?

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