Philips’ unique Cinema 21:9 TV – the world’s first ultra-wide cinema shape TV

The Home Of The Future - Take 2

14th May 2010

Jill Glenn goes back to the future… again.

Barely a month since i stepped – metaphorically speaking – into the Home of the Future at the Ideal Home Show, I found myself listening to a remarkable presentation on the same theme at Grand Designs Live. Remarkable because, whereas at the IHS the Home of the Future was sponsored by Virgin Media and therefore heavily broadband dependent, at GDL the sponsors were Philips – whose vision was heavily biased towards the progress of consumer electronics, with considerable emphasis on their LED lighting innovations (so that ‘being green, individual and stylish can go hand in hand’). Broadband, it’s fair to say, wasn’t mentioned at all. Could this be the same future?

Actually – and scarily – yes. Both see a ‘connected’ world, where everything in your home ‘talks’ to everything else. Listening to our irrepressibly enthusiastic guide describe what awaits us was like walking into a parallel universe, where homes and appliances take on a life of their own, where some of the experiences will be (or, let’s be honest, as this is the future we’re talking about: may be) similar to those envisaged by Virgin Media, but where the delivery of those experiences will be quite different.

Welcome to a world where, according to Philips, staying in is the new going out… This is a world where devices ‘learn’ about you… where your television monitors what you watch, and makes suggestions about other programmes you might like; where your oven has a ‘built-in chef’, which ‘gets to know you’ (details were hazy here…) and even calls the engineer itself when something goes wrong; where the ‘intelligent wardrobe’ has fingerprint recognition so that only authorised users can gain access. Well, that’s one way of preventing your teenage daughters from ‘borrowing’ your clothes.

Philips foresee homes with small, localised areas of wireless-free electricity – so you walk in, and your mobile phone starts charging immediately, for example. No need to plug it in. ‘True wireless’ will enable you to power your laptop simply by laying it on a designated area of worksurface or coffee table.

Adjustable lighting (Philips LivingColors) will let you personalise your surroundings at a flick of a switch: you can vary the shade of white, or choose from 16 million colours to help you feel chilled, energised, motivated. Dimmer switch? That’s so last century.

Philips’ revolutionary OLED reflection mirror

Then there’s the OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) mirror… that casts out a gentle glow of light, but when you stand in front of it it will trace your silhouette, react as you move, show your reflection in a more positive light – indeed, turn your image into a work of art. Now that’s the sort of technology I like!

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