Thursday, August 10, 2006

Petch House: The Next Generation

Jocelyn mentioned the other day that "you're in deep if you're making charts”. I think we’ve all been there. Mine was my house painting chart so I could track my progress around the house. I’m sure most of you have already printed up your copy and are following along at home.

For interior work I resort to diagrams on paper, then floor outlines with electrical tape, and maybe even full-scale mock-ups with sticks of wood screwed together. The electrical tape on the floor is my favorite. While doing the kitchen I had everything laid out with electrical tape. And then changed it and laid it out again, and again, and again. That room took so long from demolition, through design, and on to completion that some of the electrical tape stayed on the floor for a few years. The whole kitchen concept predated the blog by about 2 years.

The ultimate though, would be holograms. I don’t envision an entire Holodeck like they had on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but maybe a Holoroom Box you could rent. I picture a small black box about one foot square with halo emitters all over it. The controls would be a wireless touch screen tablet the size of a small book.

You would start out by selecting the room type (kitchen, bath, parlor), and then select pieces of furniture for the room. You would drill down through menus and get as detailed as you wanted, even to the point of choosing wall colors and window treatments.

The box on the floor would detect windows and doors along with all the walls. As you input information and made more selections objects and colors would begin to appear around the room. They would be hologram projections of the things you selected.

Once all the basics where in, then fun would begin. A 2-dimensional floor plan with all the items in the room would appear on the tablet and using a small stylus you could move counters around, change appliances, and adjust colors. The holographic images in the room would change instantly

There could even be preset styles in the system. If you want modern, just select it from the menu. Want to see a nice traditional kitchen? It’s just a tap away. Do you have a favorite piece you want to include in the room? No problem, just snap a shot of it with the digital camera on the tablet and a holoimage of it will appear in the room.

You could then walk around the room and see it in real-time. No more guess work. No more electrical tape. Once everything is set, just tap a few buttons to send scaled floor plans to the printer. Use the WiFi connection to email lists to contractors for bids. Wouldn’t that be cool? I guess it would be, except none of the contractors will return your emails. Something’s will never change.


Kristin said...

As you know, I've been out of touch for a little while, so I just now saw your new profile photo. I must say your house is looking FREAKIN AWESOME!

Jocelyn said...

This may not be too far from the truth in the future. I read this article recently about the U of C here being involved in an int'l project with the internet and HUGE bandwith that would allow holographic images etc...

I like technology, but I hope I always have a little luddite in me!