Feeds

House of the future to feature talking mirror

Does my bum look big in this?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Researchers from management consultants Accenture are focussing their powerful brains on what technology the house of the future will contain. They believe that ageing populations in the western world will have an increasing need for houses that can keep an eye on their inhabitants. Technology could also monitor the health of older people and help them stay in touch with their friends and relatives.

The researchers are concentrating on five brilliantly-named projects including "persuasive mirrors" and "connective tables". Persuasive mirrors can apparently show a person what they would look like if they did no excercise and paid no attention to what they ate and drank. This reporter already has one of these devices in his bathroom if anyone from Accenture is interested...

The connective table will use video conferencing to let you play games and socialise with people in different locations.

Accenture is also predicting the arrival of shared scrap books which family members could add pictures and video to but older people could access like an ordinary book.

Interactive pictures could act as a direct way to contact the person pictured. With a camera attached they could be used for video calls. Project leader Luca Rossi said that technology for older people needed to be simpler to use: "... just standing in front of the picture could open a channel to me without doing any funny stuff on the keyboard or logging in," he explained.

Researchers also believe the house of the future will monitor what activity is going on with cameras and software to help it make sense of the images it picks up. Software could monitor facial expressions, posture, gait, focus of attention and what objects they touch or move in the house. This could monitor people's emotional state as well as pick up early signs of age-related illnesses like Alzheimers.

It all sounds fairly familiar, although they've left the obligatory flying car out of their utopian vision. Furthermore, there's no mention of what happens when such technology turns bad. But we at Vulture Central still recall with a shudder the cautionary tale of Maureen from Whitby who was eaten by a cyberloo on a shopping expedition to Newcastle-upon-Tyne. And it is abundantly clear that the Accenture futurologists are not aware of the chilling fate of Italian village Canneto di Caronia. Enough said. ®

Related stories

US develops motorised robobollard
Fire-breathing buses threaten London
Cyberappliances attack Italian village

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.