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.”
Yes, this technology set up is something I have dreamed about and am saving up for when we do our remodel sometime in the near future. Here are some pictures I took of the key technology at the Sunset Dream house – Los Gatos, CA:
The picture below is what Gordon van Zuiden of cyberManor coined as “Fireplace 2.0” when I commented that having one screen over the fireplace is the future of family room technology. But this is more then a screen over the fireplace, it is command central with access to home media, TV, movies, music, security, temperature controls, lighting and more. The screen can be a Internet connected TV or a Computer Screen.
In the office, the HP Dreamscreen and the HP MediaSmart Server are design and compact enough to sit next to the family pictures. All family media can be stored in one central place (HP MediaSmart Server).
Below is the “cord clutter free” cyberManor house control box. Just to compare, I took a picture of the TechMama not-so-sophisticated (no time) cord clutter under the desk setup and shared it over Twitter. A fellow tech mom (TechSavvyMama) also admitted that she suffers from cord clutter (and a few other tech moms admitted it as well).
It was hard to leave and come back to my “needs to be remodeled” house after the Sunset Dream House tour. For now, I can keep dreaming…
DETAILS ON THE LOS GATOS, CA SUNSET DREAM HOUSE from the website:
July 23 – August 15, 2010
$12 seniors 65+ Fridays only
$5 children 12 and under
100 Towne Terrace
Los Gatos, California 95032
(off of University)
Disclosure: This post was based on a media tour, no compensation was given to blogger.