Microsoft’s first home of the future was set up approximately seven years ago, the latest in a legacy of corporate-sponsored, high-tech houses. Such homes have a reputation for displaying an unrealistic view of the future. But Microsoft’s home is surprising mix of reasonable, yet exciting, technology.

Take the front door, for example.

Visitors to the house can leave a message via the touch-screen monitor built into the exterior wall or record a message if no one’s home.

(In the era before telephones, visitors to upper-class homes would often leave a name card with the servant, on a fancy tray. Consider this tomorrow’s equivalent.)
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