Microsoft recently released a video by Steve Clayton on the ideas the tech company is trialing in their ‘home of the future’ center in Redmond. Microsoft Home seems to touch on several trends – from contextual services to multiscreen entertainment to ubiquitous computing. The video spread around the web rapidly, so the team at PSFK decided to follow up and recently spoke to Jonathan Cluts, director of Microsoft Strategic Prototyping and part of the team who maintains the Home project.
What key themes do you see running through the work presented in the Home scenario?
The video talks about the home as computer – as if all the technology was seamlessly connected. Our desktop tomorrow won’t be the monitor but will really be the physical desktop – and this will extend to the walls of your house. Through this people will interact with services and data.
How could product manufacturers take advantage if this?
A few years back we had a microwave that would scan food packaging barcodes and then cook food accordingly. Electronic manufacturers at the time came to us and we showed what we’re doing but they said that consumers don’t behave that way and would have to adapt our technology. We realized that was fine – we’re not experts in appliance use: What we’re doing is showing them the consumer benefit that this connectivity will enable. They can’t built the infrastructure themselves – it’s too expensive. So we will provide that service for them
What would you say the key benefit is for the home dweller?
A major benefit is how connectivity between devices and software platforms allow access to services wherever and however. Today when you buy a device it tends to be specific for a service but that will change because tomorrow that device could have access to an entire platform of services in the home.