I am a big fan of Sunset Magazine, They always present recipes, trips and decorating tips that I aspire to. I have also toured Sunset Dream Houses (houses where Sunset works with the developers to design and decorate the house) and always leave with great ideas. But, while I have a healthy dose of the "geek" gene, I don't have the "decorator" gene - even if I do have an eye for knowing what looks good. So I like to leave decorating to the professionals.
That is why I was thrilled when HP offered me a chance to tour a local Sunset Dream house before it opened to the public. The Sunset Dream House I toured is in Los Gatos, CA and it is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting today (July 23) through August 15, 2010. I suggest everyone stop by because it is not only a beautiful remodel, but also a house that has something pushing TechMama into a techy frenzy: Family Media 2.0.
When I arrived at the house I was greeted by Kathi McCalligan (Sunset Home programs Director), Gordon Van Zuiden of cyberManor and Josh Schoonmaker from HP. Josh is involved with the HP Smart Home program. I originally became fascinated with HP's vision of the home after seeing the HP technology at the Disneyland Innoventions Dream Home. I appreciate that Ann Finnie from HP supports my smarthome obsession and was kind enough to invite me to the tour.We all sat down to discuss the house design and technology. Of course, I asked for all the details and here are some highlights from our discussion:
- The Sunset Dream Home was designed as a seamless integration of technology and design.
- Technology, now part of the tools needed for school, social, entertainment and more, should be a seamless experience in the home.
- There are sophisticated technology systems in more expensive homes, but there are also more budget friendly options providing enormous value in smaller spaces.
- Sunset brought together traditional and new technology, connecting TV to the network and antique photos with digital photo frames.
- Technology is presented with a "real family lives here" vision rather than as science fiction.
Here are the schematics (below, implemented by cyberManor) of the technology behind the Sunset Dream House in Los Gatos and a description of the technology from the cyberManor website.
"cyberManor integrated and deployed the HP (www.hp.com) and Control4 (www.control4.com) family of hardware and software products to provide a seamless, reliable, and easy to use method for the control of the electronic home entertainment, lighting and comfort equipment from several in wall keypads, touchscreens and universal remote controls."