Take A Sneak Peek At Microsoft's Vision Of The House Of The Future

Microsoft House Of Future 07

Microsoft has a room on its main campus, not far from where its top executives work, that represents its vision of the future of the home and work place. 

Harald Becker, a senior product planner at Microsoft, gave us a tour of room. It’s not open to the public. It’s normally reserved enterprise clients.

He said the room is akin to a concept car. It’s informed by the research and development from Microsoft’s tech teams. It’s representative of the investment in technology Microsoft is making. 

Just like car companies show concept cars that never materialise, much of what Microsoft envisions will not materialise. However, this is an idea about how connected, synced devices can change how we work and live. 

This way to Microsoft's vision for the future.

It's a vision for your home, the work place, and beyond.

Here's Harald, our tour guide giving us a little overview of Microsoft's vision.

Here's an idea of how a futuristic workplace could look. Open, casual spaces.

We start in a modern workplace, with a modern whiteboard.

From the whiteboard, you can transfer your work to a Surface tablet.

These giant touch screens are from Microsoft acquisition Perceptive Pixel, and they're all over the place.

You can take the work that was on your Surface and flick it to the big touch screen table.

And on this touch screen table, you can drag and drop elements you need for your project. You can look up information, and you can easily manipulate the work.

Now, in a modern conference room, there's a giant touchscreen.

On the touch screen, you can map out a project.

And if you're thinking about ordering a part for a project, you can instantly bring up a video tour of the factory making the part.

There's also a simulation of how retail could change.

Find a toy you want in the retail store, place it on this touch screen.

It can tell you some details on it, like how much it costs. If you want it, you can use your phone with NFC to pay for it, and type in your address on the screen to have it mailed to you.

Microsoft's house of the future has a scooter in it. We didn't see any future scooter tech though.

It also has a vision for how restaurants could change.

When fancy clients are in town, they get a nice meal. Alas, we did not get a meal, or a demo of restaurant tech.

Anywho... onward!

We are now in the home. Harald uses a Kinect camera to scan a pot, which he wants to print out with a 3D printer in the home.

Before he prints it, though, he uses motion technology to reshape it, and make it more slender.

As you can see, touch screens and projected screens are a big deal in Microsoft's world.

Now we're in the kitchen. Microsoft pictures a big touchscreen has the hub of the family.

On this screen, you can also find recipes and directions for cooking.

The instructions for how to cook appear on the counter.

You can use a virtual chef to walk you through how to make a meal.

Microsoft also sees people using digital picture frames to rotate art and photos.

Now we're in the living room for Microsoft's most ambitious project, yet.

He's doing a video chat with Grandma. She's going to read her grandkid a story.

Your child can choose what stuffed animal appears in the story. Just hold it up to a camera, and Microsoft will recognise it and insert it into the story.

As she starts telling the story, it's illustrated on the screen for the kids.

The kid can use a Surface to explore the world being described in the story.

And from the ceiling, leaves are projected on the ground. They can be moved around.

And that's it!

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