Smart homes are all the rage these days with connected appliances and devices all controlled from your smartphone or tablet. But, while the technology is constantly evolving, the concept in itself is nothing new. The video, created in 1999, shows how the company was imagining a smart home of the future back then.
In 1999 most of us were thinking about Ross and Rachel from Friends, Y2K and how much better our new 56 kbps dial-up modem was going to be for internet porn. But Microsoft was thinking about the future, a future in which the internet and smart devices would be ubiquitous and they’d all come together into a smart home.
The video, first dug up by Winbeta, portrays this home-of-tomorrow, with everything from facial recognition to media centers, to smart ovens, to Windows 98 and CE being everywhere. It’s really interesting to watch how these same concepts evolved into what we know today as smartphones, Xbox, Cortana, Smartglass and so on.
The video also shows something else, something much more important. It shows Microsoft’s incredible ability to predict the future and then utter failure in constructing it. It's not hard to see why this is when you take at how the products were designed, and fitted together.
All of these services and devices imagined by the company first became popular when one of its rivals ran with the idea and created a great implementation. That's when they became widely available and those are the devices we use today. Microsoft's TabletPC, became the iPad; their Windows Mobile smartphone/PDA became the iPhone; the map and GPS solution showed in the video turned into Google Maps. As for the embedded smart devices, we're just now starting to see them come to market, and none of them are from Microsoft.
Instead of creating the future, the company is stuck playing catch-up with many of their rivals, who are seeing success with products that Microsoft first imagined.
So what do you think? Baring the lack of jetpacks, are we living in the future, or is there some cool tech that’s still missing? Let us know in the comments below.