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Microsoft scoops up home automation company before Apple - Page 2

post #41 of 94

Ok.

 

Only one problem: Ballmer decides what happens. 

 

Good luck with that. 

post #42 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

It's logical. Microsoft is unable to innovate, so they have no choice but to buy companies. Apple, OTOH, is clearly able to innovate, so they don't NEED to buy companies for ideas.
Who do you think is going to win the bidding wars when both companies are involved?

One of the finest examples of troll bait ever.
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post #43 of 94

I have a pretty nice home automation system using insteon devices.  Not sure it's a need, but it is fun to tinker, and when people come over and notice that the house sets up for night slowly just as the sun goes down are pretty curious.  I have a old hp notebook running the whole setup.  Lights change at midnight to night mode, or when I press a button on my nightstand.  Kitchen lights come on at 30% when you enter at night, that kind of stuff.

post #44 of 94

The question of "why" is a legitimate question, how about:

 

- Need for better energy efficiency... results in increased complexity...hence added value of home automation.  Think: lighting and temperature control...accurate water heating/steam/gas control/solar heating/PV.

- Ubiquity of cloud/fast processors & various visual/audio form factors brings opportunities to see/control and experience media in many more ways in the home...which brings complexity...but through automation can bring personalized information and media to each member of the home.  Think: "Siri!  What's the weather for today?  Make me a cup of coffee while you're at it.  Eject my iPhone.  Oh and start my car and heat it to 70 degrees."

- Increased home security...when you're at home or away.

 

I can see value-added in the above scenarios.

post #45 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

I have a pretty nice home automation system using insteon devices.  Not sure it's a need, but it is fun to tinker, and when people come over and notice that the house sets up for night slowly just as the sun goes down are pretty curious.  I have a old hp notebook running the whole setup.  Lights change at midnight to night mode, or when I press a button on my nightstand.  Kitchen lights come on at 30% when you enter at night, that kind of stuff.

 

These seem like some good things. Certainly lights automatically adjusting to circumstances. I'm not sure these require sophisticated home automation systems or whether they could be adequately handled by lower-tech, point solutions that include light, motion, proximity sensors.

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post #46 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

But that doesn't really answer the more basic question: Why?

 

Setting aside the thermostat (having programmable thermostats her likely been a great improvement.) Why would I want home automation? What do I  want to automate and control in this way?

The "why" is really up to you.  Until some form of standardized infrastructure is in place it's really up to you as to what you want to do with automation.  I've been at it a very long time and have incrementially been adding capabilities, here's only a few things I use automation for.

 

1 - light controlling, I pretty much have the whole house now converted to insteon switches.  These support both X-10 and insteon commands so my legacy controllers work as well as newer insteon (more robust, dual band wireless and powerline communications).  Various lighting goes on and off based on times, sunrise, sunset.  One button push shuts down the house at bedtime.  The system is interfaced with the alarm system's I/R room sensors so once in bed, should you get up in the night, strategic lights come on and very low intensity to light your way thru the house.  Lights in un-occupied areas will turn off.  Bascially I have the system dance around my wife and daughters, attempting to save power but at the same time not pissing them off.  It's taken many years to refine the schedule but it works really well.  The plus is that all lights in the house are dimmable either manually with the wall switch or remotely controlled as well.  If someone turns on a light, the switch also reports its condition to the system so it "knows" this as well.  So when my youngest turns on that 200watt bathroom heatlamp, and leaves the room, it will turn itself off soon after.

 

2 - Sprinklers, I have far greater control over them, can hold them off with rain, can operate them anytime, all without having to mess with an outdoor timer.

 

3 - Pool, control pump and solar heat bypass valves based on actual heat available and pool temp to save energy and maximize heating. Monitor spa temps and shut down when not used, again to save energy.

 

4 - HVAC remote access and overide capability along with standard shcedules.

 

5 - Power control, I have a whole house backup generator, the system can detect a power outage and also monitor the house load in realtime, and automatically shut down non-essential loads (e.g the pool pump etc.) to prevent any potential overload condition.  I have this fully automated so my girls are never in the dark without light, heat, etc.

 

6 - Garage door sensing to allow indication of door open, more linked functions based on time of day etc.

 

7 - Window shade controls based on sunrise/sunset as well as home theater watching.

 

8 - Voice intergation, I have the system literally talk to me to accounce certain events and condtions when I'm in my office when I want to troubleshoot or keep tabs on things.

 

9 - Next up for me is integration with a Photovoltiac Solar system, again to control and manage power during power outages and coordinate with the backup generator.

 

I think you get the idea, home automation when done right is simply a controller with your wishes programmed in, it chugs away 24/7 executing these decision trees to make a home just better.  I spent alot of time doing this all with one system so that I could leverage the information variables (times, temps, motion detection, power calculations, etc.) into the various routines.  All of these things can be done with seperate switches and timers, the beauty of a unified system is that there is one central clock (internet controlled) and one thing to access and program as a user.

 

All of this is accessible from my iPhone/iPad as well.  What is nice is that you can start small and expand as far as your imagination and abilities can take you.  I would welcome any large company that gets better standards in place to make this easier, who wouldn't!

 

So, ya, that's why I think home automation can help a household...  I don't really care that they call our house the Pee Wee Herman house, it is pertty cool to see in action.

post #47 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewys808 View Post

The question of "why" is a legitimate question, how about:

 

- Need for better energy efficiency... results in increased complexity...hence added value of home automation.  Think: lighting and temperature control...accurate water heating/steam/gas control/solar heating/PV.

 

Well the heating/cooling thing is already being addressed with programmable thermostats. The Nest takes it to the next level of course, which is cool. And that's where the majority of energy use goes in most homes from what I hear. Beyond that. Lighting? Ummm...ok. This doesn't seem to be a big thing that demands sophisticated, expensive (and energy consuming) automation systems. Turn the lights off when you're not using them seems like a pretty inexpensive and low-tech and reliable way to handle this. If you're really concerned, put in some Al Gore light bulbs. This just doesn't seem that compelling.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewys808 View Post

- Ubiquity of cloud/fast processors & various visual/audio form factors brings opportunities to see/control and experience media in many more ways in the home...which brings complexity...but through automation can bring personalized information and media to each member of the home.  Think: "Siri!  What's the weather for today?  Make me a cup of coffee while you're at it.  Eject my iPhone.  Oh and start my car and heat it to 70 degrees."

 

Sure. Okay. Maybe. I still see point solutions here. In fact these kind of allude to this a bit: http://www.ambientdevices.com/

 

However...I do see the possibility of collections of point solutions that could be wirelessly linked for some of the applications you've suggested. But the question becomes how this comes to fruition without buying everything (including your alarm clock, lamps and coffee makers from the same company (Apple?) or what incentive is there to build the smarts (and cost) into the coffee makers from every vendor when not everyone has the other pieces.

 

Perhaps someone will start down this path: Smart (wireless) Coffee Maker with remote mobile App that works kinds like the Nest does. And this catches on. And then other devices. And then someone puts together the App that ties it all together.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewys808 View Post

- Increased home security...when you're at home or away.

 

Now this is a good one. I could see something controlling lights (even creating sounds) that give the appearance of someone being home to deter a potential burglar (or at least push them off to the house down the street that clearly vacant!) Again though, this likely could be handled through relatively low-tech point solutions: Timers on lights (I hear these even randomize now-a-days). etc.

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post #48 of 94
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Originally Posted by lightknight View Post

So what?
If they end up making it good product... great. But it probably will go the Skype way.

Or Danger, Inc. That ended the successful Sidekick line with an incompatible and unloved KIN ONE and KIN TWO.

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post #49 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Perhaps someone will start down this path: Smart (wireless) Coffee Maker with remote mobile App that works kinds like the Nest does. And this catches on. And then other devices. And then someone puts together the App that ties it all together.

I would agree that nothing really compelling today or even within the year.  But I could see that within a couple of years, the synergy (as you kind of described above) would greatly increase and then allow for leveraging of complete IT/automation.  3 or 4 devices just doesn't make it worthwhile...but 9-10 appliances/systems might be the breaking point to adequately leverage the cost of IT/automation.  And when you think about it, even at that, it would only be worth its value for the upper middle class+.

post #50 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewys808 View Post

I would agree that nothing really compelling today or even within the year.  But I could see that within a couple of years, the synergy (as you kind of described above) would greatly increase and then allow for leveraging of complete IT/automation.  3 or 4 devices just doesn't make it worthwhile...but 9-10 appliances/systems might be the breaking point to adequately leverage the cost of IT/automation.  And when you think about it, even at that, it would only be worth its value for the upper middle class+.

 

But here we hit another obstacle. What 9-10 devices?

 

I'm asking seriously here.

 

Coffee maker? OK. This is pretty much self-contained: Fill with coffee and water...only thing left is timing the brewing so it is hot and fresh.

 

Lights? Maybe.

 

HVAC? Yes. Kinda done.

 

What's next?

 

Microwave? Stove? Dishwasher? (maybe start after bed and clean by morning...but here again...low tech seems to handle it) Fridge?

 

TV & Stereo? Perhaps. Maybe TV knows it is me turning it on (vs. my kids or wife...and brings up my faves.) Maybe stereo knows it is me in the room and prompts me (verbally, a la Siri) for which of my playlists to play.

 

I guess I'm just not seeing it yet. I mean I can see the futuristic, sci-fi, Jetsons-like vision. I'm just not sure I see the reality of it yet. And by that I don't mean the technological capabilities...I mean the practical usefulness vs. the cost. Like I said before, this smells a bit like a solution in search of a problem.

 

Even Apple's predicted TV...would Siri make my life substantially better there? Possibly!

 

"Siri, find me an action film to watch."

 

"Siri, turn up the volume a little."

 

"Siri, let's watch next episode of 'Mad Men.'"

 

"Siri, please record the Packer's game on Sunday."

 

"Siri, quiet please. Someone's at the door."

 

Like that. Sure.

 

Then again, maybe that's the key to everything: Ubiquitous voice-command and control. You walk in and ask for "lights on" ( a la Back to the Future II). Or: "Make me a coffee" that ties in with an even higher-tech Keurig-like machine with auto-feed k-cups and mugs.

 

Who knows.

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post #51 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

While I don't necessarily expect such a move from Apple, I don't think Tony Fadell as Apple's next CEO is completely out of the realm of possibilities. I could see this even 10 years out (sooner if Tim Cook stumbles.)

What would his qualifications be? Successful project management and product dev't are very different skills than running a trillion dollar compant
post #52 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post


What would his qualifications be? Successful project management and product dev't are very different skills than running a trillion dollar compant

 

Maybe. Maybe not.

 

I've never run a company that size (and neither have you.) so we don't really know.

 

I see a guy who knows product (which I think is critical for Apple) and appears to know how to manage and run a company (albeit a smaller one.) Minimally he's more than just an engineer and understands the broader aspects of building products (and a company). He also clearly has the "Apple DNA" in him. Perhaps not today, not now...but I could see him as a possible candidate down the road.

 

P.S. Not to quibble too much, but Apple is not a trillion dollar company.

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post #53 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Maybe. Maybe not.

I've never run a company that size (and neither have you.) so we don't really know.

I see a guy who knows product (which I think is critical for Apple) and appears to know how to manage and run a company (albeit a smaller one.) Minimally he's more than just an engineer and understands the broader aspects of building products (and a company). He also clearly has the "Apple DNA" in him. Perhaps not today, not now...but I could see him as a possible candidate down the road.

P.S. Not to quibble too much, but Apple is not a trillion dollar company.

Running a company with one mildly successful product wouldn't get him an interview to run Dell, let alone Apple. You don't think Apple will be a trillion dollar (short scale) company in 10 yrs? You Android fanboy!!!!'
post #54 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


That would be a first: they outsource their current screens for mobile devices.

 

And they used to outsource their chip designs.

 

If they are researching into glass then they could one day use something designed in-house, just like the new processors.

 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57560927-37/flexy-iphone-someday-apple-patents-method-to-bend-glass/

post #55 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

You're still not answering why.

 

I'm getting answers for what and how, but little for why.

 

Why do I want this? What does it do for me? What do I gain from it? How is my life better because of it?

 

It seems like home automation is a solution looking for a problem (that doesn't exist.)

 

I guess you've never read "Around the World in 80 Days" have you?

post #56 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewys808 View Post

The question of "why" is a legitimate question, how about:

 

- Need for better energy efficiency... results in increased complexity...hence added value of home automation.  Think: lighting and temperature control...accurate water heating/steam/gas control/solar heating/PV.

- Ubiquity of cloud/fast processors & various visual/audio form factors brings opportunities to see/control and experience media in many more ways in the home...which brings complexity...but through automation can bring personalized information and media to each member of the home.  Think: "Siri!  What's the weather for today?  Make me a cup of coffee while you're at it.  Eject my iPhone.  Oh and start my car and heat it to 70 degrees."

- Increased home security...when you're at home or away.

 

I can see value-added in the above scenarios.

 

Isn't this what we were suppose to get with the "Smart Grid" technology that GE and others were promoting a couple of years ago?

post #57 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Running a company with one mildly successful product wouldn't get him an interview to run Dell, let alone Apple.

 

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I disagree.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

You don't think Apple will be a trillion dollar (short scale) company in 10 yrs?

 

I was referring to the present tense. As for the future...maybe. Hard to know. Apple's growth could surely slow.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

You Android fanboy!!!!'

 

And now you display your ignorance. I am not an Android fanboy in any way, shape or form. I don't own any Android devices nor do I wish to. Perhaps you assume I am because I'm not automatically responding like an Apple fanboy.

 

1rolleyes.gif


Edited by MJ1970 - 1/3/13 at 2:19pm

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post #58 of 94
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Originally Posted by night9hawk View Post

I guess you've never read "Around the World in 80 Days" have you?

 

I'm asking serious and reasonable questions. I've quite often seen people think they have great ideas for products and that what they are great ideas...but they don't play out in practical reality because people don't want them or need them. Now I fully understand that wants and needs change over time. I get that. I also get that not everything that every science-fiction writer has ever dreamed up becomes reality.

 

So...I asked the question: Why? Why do I want this? Why do I need this? How will this improve my life?

 

Some other posters have engaged this question well and offered good ideas about why and what. You ask if I've read a book (with whatever implication that carries).


Edited by MJ1970 - 1/3/13 at 2:31pm

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post #59 of 94

People saying Microsoft does not innovate need to take a day or two looking over Microsoft researches website. Microsofts problem is not in their innovation but in their marketing/product team. Microsoft research has a ton of things in their research division that would make great products.

 

Microsoft bought this company to put the tech into the next xbox plain and simple.

 

Apples problem is that if they do not hurry up Microsoft could possibly beat them to the tv innovation product.  Keep in mind with the xbox 360 you can already use it as a cable box if you have uverse or Comcast. Imagine having it control your lights and other things also ?

 

Saying Microsoft does not innovate is just trolling. That is not microsofts problem. Its the marketing and developing the innovations into products that's the problem. Keep in mind bill gates back in 2001 stated tablets will be the next big thing.

post #60 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

New strategy for Apple to relieve competitors of excess cash and saddle them with dead weight: sniff around myriad companies that appear to have something of value to offer until they are snapped up out of fear.

When I first heard of this rumor it seemed so odd that Apple or anyone would be interested in this tiny startup that didn't have any products on the market.

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post #61 of 94
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Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Well, Microsoft isn't an innovator. What major innovations have they come up with? Can you name a couple? Patents aren't innovations, they're just patents. Ball Labs considered an innovation to be the totality of research, engineering, design, AND bringing it out to the market where it would become popular, and sustaining, replacing what went before.
So what has Microsoft ever come out with something like that? DOS was bought from Seattle Computer. Windows was a poor copy of Apple's System software. The XBox was just another console. Their phones weren't original. In fact, anything innovative has been killed by management because of infighting, and the fact that the Windows and Office people have control over the company. His has certainly been well documented. One of the more innovative of their later possible products, the clamshell Courier tablet (and the tablet, a real tablet, isn't a Microsoft innovation either) was killed by Sinofsky because it didn't use Windows.

You know, lot of people on other side of the fence feels the same about Apple as well. Apple does great refinement and integration of existing technologies - but does all that qualify as innovation? Likewise, is something like Kinect an innovation? Xbox Live (as first on-line network for consoles)? are there innovations in MS server technologies - surely they are not buying and stealing everything that makes and constantly improves HyperV, SharePoint, Exchange, original project Surface, SmartGlass... arguably some of these innovations (if any) are not obvious as physical consumer oriented products innovations, but I don't think that "obvious" defines innovation anyway.
post #62 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

I'm asking serious and reasonable questions. I've quite often seen people think they have great ideas for products and that what they are great ideas...but they don't play out in practical reality because people don't want them or need them. Now I fully understand that wants and needs change over time. I get that. I also get that not everything that every science-fiction writer has ever dreamed up becomes reality.

 

So...I asked the question: Why? Why do I want this? Why do I need this? How will this improve my life?

 

Some other posters have engaged this question well and offered good ideas about why and what. You ask if I've read a book (with whatever implication that carries).

 

Actually, my answer was meant to be somewhat serious. In the story Phileas Fogg and Passepartout set out on their journey around the world and it's not until they're underway that Passepartout realizes he had forgotten to turn off the gas light in his room. They're no going back so it'll burn until they've completed their journey around the world. (Fogg tells him that the cost will be deducted from his wages.) This sort of thing happens to people all the time; being able to correct this sort of mistake would be useful.

post #63 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

But that doesn't really answer the more basic question: Why?

Setting aside the thermostat (having programmable thermostats her likely been a great improvement.) Why would I want home automation? What do I  want to automate and control in this way?

Nobody can answer the question for you. There are still many people who don't want a smartphone. It's up to them. Many of us would love a true smarthome. Would you? Apparently not. But that irrelevant.
post #64 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

You know, lot of people on other side of the fence feels the same about Apple as well. Apple does great refinement and integration of existing technologies - but does all that qualify as innovation? Likewise, is something like Kinect an innovation? Xbox Live (as first on-line network for consoles)? are there innovations in MS server technologies - surely they are not buying and stealing everything that makes and constantly improves HyperV, SharePoint, Exchange, original project Surface, SmartGlass... arguably some of these innovations (if any) are not obvious as physical consumer oriented products innovations, but I don't think that "obvious" defines innovation anyway.

I see nothing in that that was innovative. It was just another take on what was done before, and not much of an improvement. Kinect is good, but not ground breaking. After all the talk about it, it's died down. XBox live is interesting, but what make for such a big deal over a console doing it? Sony did it too. Surface hasn't done all that well, and it's more a Fuji project that Microsoft put its name on than anything else. Fuji designed and builds the hardware, and most of the software as well.

If that was the best you could come up with, then it proves my point, whereas Apple has changed the computer industry, the music industry, and others.
post #65 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Nobody can answer the question for you. There are still many people who don't want a smartphone. It's up to them. Many of us would love a true smarthome. Would you? Apparently not. But that irrelevant.

 

Sure. I get that. I get that no one can answer that for me, personally. I also get that many people don't want or need many new products and technologies that come out. But, and I suspect most people probably realized this, I was asking "why" generally...and when I used "me" I was speaking broadly. It was a kind of rhetorical device. It was meant to ask "Who wants this? What will it do for them?"

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post #66 of 94
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post
It was meant to ask "Who wants this? What will it do for them?"

 

There are things we have to remember that we shouldn't. There are activities we have to perform that we shouldn't. People don't think about it because "that's the way it has been" for as long as they can remember.

 

Picture this:

 

You're forgetful. Darn if you don't remember to grab everything when you leave in the morning. All you have to do is remember what you need once and tell your house what that stuff is. As you open your front door in the morning, your house calls to you over the intercom on your porch (there's one in each room), "Remember your phone!" If it registers the phone as right by the front door, it doesn't say this, as it's in your pocket. But if your phone is back in your study or up by your bed, it calls out to you. Same with other things that the house can't track: "You were going to take that flash drive to Dave this afternoon!" Just tell your house what you need, and it'll remind you of it.

 

The intercom in every room would also operate like Siri does. "House, turn down the lights a little." And you've told it in the past what "a little" means to you. It remembers that and does it. "House, play some classic jazz." And your house registers where you are in it and plays the music only through the speakers in the room you occupy. If you walk into another room, the music follows you. That way your wife can nap or work where you aren't. Also, when you give your house a command or request, it will only reply to you through the speakers in the room you occupy. You don't disturb others with one half of a conversation, and they can hold their own with the house simultaneously in other rooms, taking separate commands. 

 

Think about how all this could come together come movie time. Friends over, all in the same room, you ask the house to put on a specific movie. It knows where you are in the house, so it knows what TV you want to watch. It talks to your Apple TV (BOX) and the movie starts streaming to it. Simultaneously, the lights in that room are dimmed or turned off, depending on your preference. 

 

But now you're thirsty. Milk time. Go to the fridge, take out the jug, finish it off. You didn't put the jug back in the fridge.

 

"Hmm," thinks your fridge, roughly an hour later, "I'm missing milk." And so your fridge sends a message to your phone over your house's Wi-Fi, telling it to put "[brand name, if you prefer one] [chosen fat percentage] milk" in your geofenced "grocery list" reminder in Reminders. The next time you go to the store, your phone will alert you to the fact that you're at the store, and here's what you wanted to get more of. Go through the store, grab the stuff, walk to the front of the store… bag it and walk out. Each product has an RFID tag (obviously; that's how your fridge knew what it was missing), so the store knows exactly what you took. It sends a message to your phone (which you brought with you), and your account is deducted the amount of your purchase once you pull out of the parking lot.

 

Not only that, but when your fridge sent a message to your phone, it also sent a message to the store. It knows where it's sending the message because your geofenced "grocery list" reminder told it so. The store receives your message (and everyone else's), and knows exactly how much to stock of exactly what. So the store also knows how much to order (in the future) of exactly what. Saves them countless time and money.

 

Companies can get real-time information on how well their product lines are doing. Product testbed rollouts (like those done northwest Indiana/northeast Ohio/southeast Michigan) can know day by day how well the new product sells. They can know how better to market it ("oh, this is a weekend product")—or not at all—that much faster, saving time and money across their board, too. 

 

In one fell swoop, the way you live in your house, the way you shop, and international supply markets are completely revolutionized.


Edited by Tallest Skil - 1/4/13 at 10:38am

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #67 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

There are things we have to remember that we shouldn't. There are activities we have to perform that we shouldn't. People don't think about it because "that's the way it has been" for as long as they can remember.

 

Picture this:

 

You're forgetful. Darn if you don't remember to grab everything when you leave in the morning. All you have to do is remember what you need once and tell your house what that stuff is. As you open your front door in the morning, your house calls to you over the intercom on your porch (there's one in each room), "Remember your phone!" If it registers the phone as right by the front door, it doesn't say this, as it's in your pocket. But if your phone is back in your study or up by your bed, it calls out to you. Same with other things that the house can't track: "You were going to take that flash drive to Dave this afternoon!" Just tell your house what you need, and it'll remind you of it.

 

The intercom in every room would also operate like Siri does. "House, turn down the lights a little." And you've told it in the past what "a little" means to you. It remembers that and does it. "House, play some classic jazz." And your house registers where you are in it and plays the music only through the speakers in the room you occupy. If you walk into another room, the music follows you. That way your wife can nap or work where you aren't. Also, when you give your house a command or request, it will only reply to you through the speakers in the room you occupy. You don't disturb others with one half of a conversation, and they can hold their own with the house simultaneously in other rooms, taking separate commands. 

 

Think about how all this could come together come movie time. Friends over, all in the same room, you ask the house to put on a specific movie. It knows where you are in the house, so it knows what TV you want to watch. It talks to your Apple TV (BOX) and the movie starts streaming to it. Simultaneously, the lights in that room are dimmed or turned off, depending on your preference. 

 

But now you're thirsty. Milk time. Go to the fridge, take out the jug, finish it off. You didn't put the jug back in the fridge.

 

"Hmm," thinks your fridge, roughly an hour later, "I'm missing milk." And so your fridge sends a message to your phone over your house's Wi-Fi, telling it to put "[brand name, if you prefer one] [chosen fat percentage] milk" in your geofenced "grocery list" reminder in Reminders. The next time you go to the store, your phone will alert you to the fact that you're at the store, and here's what you wanted to get more of. Go through the store, grab the stuff, walk to the front of the store… bag it and walk out. Each product has an RFID tag (obviously; that's how your fridge knew what it was missing), so the store knows exactly what you took. It sends a message to your phone (which you brought with you), and your account is deducted the amount of your purchase once you pull out of the parking lot.

 

Not only that, but when your fridge sent a message to your phone, it also sent a message to the store. It knows where it's sending the message because your geofenced "grocery list" reminder told it so. The store receives your message (and everyone else's), and knows exactly how much to stock of exactly what. So the store also knows how much to order (in the future) of exactly what. Saves them countless time and money.

 

Companies can get real-time information on how well their product lines are doing. Product testbed rollouts (like those done northwest Indiana/northeast Ohio/southeast Michigan) can know day by day how well the new product sells. They can know how better to market it ("oh, this is a weekend product")—or not at all—that much faster, saving time and money across their board, too. 

 

In one fell swoop, the way you live in your house, the way you shop, and international supply markets are completely revolutionized.

 

So you want a really expensive, hi-tech, energy-consuming, buggy, less reliable post-it note?!

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post #68 of 94

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 5/16/13 at 12:17pm
post #69 of 94
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post
So you want a really expensive, hi-tech, energy-consuming, buggy, less reliable post-it note?!

 

Thanks for ignoring everything else in there.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #70 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Thanks for ignoring everything else in there.

 

You're welcome for distilling it down to its essence.

 

1rolleyes.gif

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post #71 of 94
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post
…distilling it down to its essence.

 

No. End of story.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #72 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

No. End of story.

 

It's okay, Mr. Skil. We can disagree. That's allowed even. Chill.

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post #73 of 94
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post
We can disagree.

 

You're ignoring roughly 60% of what I wrote. You're just outright wrong when you say you've distilled it to only a portion thereof!

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #74 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Sure. I get that. I get that no one can answer that for me, personally. I also get that many people don't want or need many new products and technologies that come out. But, and I suspect most people probably realized this, I was asking "why" generally...and when I used "me" I was speaking broadly. It was a kind of rhetorical device. It was meant to ask "Who wants this? What will it do for them?"

You might as well ask that of every technology that's made life easier. The VCR and DVR, for example. Do we really need to record shows when we aren't home? Are they that important? Not really, but hundreds of millions, if not billions do this. Do we need a thermostat? No, we can adjust the temperature by hand, manually. Do we want to? No. There are many time and work saving conveniences we all use, including you. There will always be some Luddites out there who don't understand the point to some new technologies. But there will be many more who want them. Products aren't made only if everyone wants it. There will be millions of people who do want this, even early on. Eventually, most homes will come with it. You may not understand the appeal, but I assure you, it is there.
post #75 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

So you want a really expensive, hi-tech, energy-consuming, buggy, less reliable post-it note?!

I believe that what's happening here now, is that you are deliberately misconstruing what's being said about this. I get it, you don't want it, don't understand it, and don't understand why others may want it. But don't attempt to bring this down to some simplistic level.
post #76 of 94
Originally Posted by melgross View Post
I believe that what's happening here now, is that you are deliberately misconstruing what's being said about this. I get it, you don't want it, don't understand it, and don't understand why others may want it. But don't attempt to bring this down to some simplistic level.

 

I think I get it now. I may not ever be able to see what anyone would want with an iPad that is so… not smaller than a regular iPad, but I can at least be honorable enough not to treat those who think they want it with that sort of callous disrespect. 

😳😞

Well, at least someone learned something from this home automation thread!

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #77 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I think I get it now. I may not ever be able to see what anyone would want with an iPad that is so… not smaller than a regular iPad, but I can at least be honorable enough not to treat those who think they want it with that sort of callous disrespect. 

😳😞

Well, at least someone learned something from this home automation thread!

 

Now that's actually quite rich and ironic and hypocritical coming from you and using that particular example. As I recall it, you were quite opinionated to the point of basically shouting down and dismissing anyone who championed the idea of an iPad mini. Your predictions about it then turned out to be quite wrong (or so it appears.) and then you have the audacity to call me out on this. This is downright priceless.

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post #78 of 94
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post
Your predictions about it then turned out to be quite wrong (or so it appears.)…

 

Not yet, anyway. But people who pick a product that doesn't do them justice are far more likely to take the advice of others once it fails them.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #79 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You might as well ask that of every technology that's made life easier.

 

Quite true. I agree. And I may well be wrong about "home automation." I accept that possibility. You'll note that I even accepted some of the suggestions offered by some posters as possibly legitimate use cases.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

You might as well ask that of every technology that's made life easier. The VCR and DVR, for example. Do we really need to record shows when we aren't home? Are they that important? Not really, but hundreds of millions, if not billions do this. Do we need a thermostat? No, we can adjust the temperature by hand, manually. Do we want to? No.

 

Except that in these examples you point to the real and tangible benefits of these innovations (be able to watch a TV program at a different time than broadcast...adjust the HVAC settings without manually doing them.) So your examples seem to be poor ones because the benefits are rather obvious. The broader and more vague "home automation" "solution" is much less clear.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There are many time and work saving conveniences we all use, including you.

 

I'm fully aware of this. I've never claimed differently and I hope you're not implying that I have. But the point here is exactly that...what are the new time and work saving conveniences in the home that are still be tackled? I'll go further...beyond just time and work saving stuff...we probably have most of that tackled (though, granted, government regulations on things like shower heads, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers is causing us to do MORE work)...it might even be pleasure and leisure enhancements? What are these that demand a broad "home automation" infrastructure?

 

I can see TVs that are better.

 

I can see music players that are smarter.

 

I can see thermostats that are smarter.

 

I can even see the vision that some (including Mr. Skil) have described. I just wonder how many people really want or need such things.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

There will always be some Luddites out there who don't understand the point to some new technologies. But there will be many more who want them.

 

I hope you're not implying that I'm a Luddite. You'd be quite wrong. I get that some people don't understand the point of new technologies.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Products aren't made only if everyone wants it. There will be millions of people who do want this, even early on. Eventually, most homes will come with it. You may not understand the appeal, but I assure you, it is there.

 

Possibly you're right. Possibly. Though evidence of your claim would be helpful here. Until then I'll assume it's just your best guess.


Edited by MJ1970 - 1/5/13 at 6:22pm

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post #80 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Not yet, anyway. But people who pick a product that doesn't do them justice are far more likely to take the advice of others once it fails them.

 

I'm not sure what that means. It seems you're moving the goal posts. I seem to recall you saying there was no need for it and even that it wouldn't sell. Perhaps I'm wrong and unfairly mischaracterizing your claims and predictions. If I am, I apologize.

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