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Intel thinks intelligent fridge will rule roost in 2005

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Intel has outlined a vision of the future where entire families’ lives will be controlled by a know-it-all PC built into the superstructure of a house.

But, perhaps fortunately, it could be as long as seven years before this vision comes to pass.

At a demonstration of future technology held at Intel’s Developer Forum today, a representative from Intel showed a video demonstrating the future as the chip company foresees it.

According to her, the centre of a household’s family life, currently, is the kitchen and in particular the refrigerator. Members of the family post notes to each other if, for example, one or the other is not home. There too, currently, most of the household’s organisation goes on.

The representative showed a video as part of Intel Architecture Labs vision of the future, which starts with a couple going to bed at 10.14 pm. The woman turns to a unit on her side of the bed and orders the house to sleep and to give her a wake up call for 6.30 am, dependent on how the traffic is.

The man makes a similar request on his side of the bed. Both, then, go to sleep, only to be woken up by an intelligent refrigerator which tells them that their son is sneaking a late night snack. By monitor, an irate mother tells her son to go to bed immediately.

The next morning, she is woken by a PC which tells her that the traffic on the freeway is sort of OK so it has woken her up. The PC screen on the fridge reiterates the message. Later that day, the young girl of the household gets a touch screen PC to tell her how to bake a cake. As the kid shoves the empty egg carton into the garbage can, the fridge adds eggs to its shopping list.

“In Intel’s vision of tomorrow, the PC will be available anywhere in the home,” the labs representative said.

Obstacles to the vision, she added, were the widespread availability of technology at a cheap enough price. ®

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