Amazing Video Tour of a 1985 Home Automation System From Gizmodo


(Patrick Musselman) #1

Flashback!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

That actually was a really good UI.

I’m not being sarcastic.


#3

And it still works 30 years later. I doubt the same can be said of most Z wave/Zigbee devices.


#4

True. But if anything on that relic breaks you are not going to find those parts in production. Or BestBuy.


#5

Agreed, but I bet most of it could be easily repaired unlike todays disposable tech,


#6

The fact that House has a wine cellar is a hint as to what made the system work back in 1985: money. Lots of money.

As a quadriparetic, I have reviewed many "environmental control systems, " some of which have been available for decades. They do all kinds of amazing things, including voice control, they integrate A/V systems with security, medical monitoring, Window coverings, HVAC, lights, irrigation, pretty much everything. And they do a great job. It’s just that they cost anywhere from $60,000 to $250,000.

The cheapest typically automate just one room, and run around $10,000. But they do dramatically improve quality-of-life for the people who can afford them.

The difference in home automation in the 21st-century has been an attempt to break the $5000/apartment price point, with DIY systems starting at $500 or less. That’s the market smartthings has been in.

But if you have a much bigger budget, Home automation technology has been available for a long time.

Here a video of a 1985 environmental control system designed for people in wheelchairs which has total voice control. This company is still in business, selling pretty much the same system. It works fine although it’s very old aesthetics. But it costs a lot of money.