February 11, 2004 (STAR) By Joseph O. Cortes - What would the home of the future look like? Picture this.

When you come home from work at the end of the day, you don’t need a key to open the door. All you need to do is press a sensor on a security console. Voila, the door immediately opens!

When you enter the door to your flat, you reach for your home pad and, and by pressing the touch-sensitive screen, you turn on the lights, open the curtains, turn on the music – or the TV, for that matter. Your answering machine plays back all the calls you received while you were out and an image record of all your guests while you were out is flashed on the TV screen.

If you are expecting guests, web cams on the ground floor lobby, the elevator and on your floor alert you that your friends are on the way up. If they happen to drop by while you are out, they can leave a message by the wall pad console at the door.

Even while you are away, you can also check on your home. A relay of web cams inside your apartment gives you a peek. If you have children and you left them at home alone, you can check up on them in secret. And if you left your pooch Freeway all by herself, logging on to your computer tells you whether she chewed on your sandals again.

As you settle down for the evening, you smell dinner coming from the kitchen, as the washing machine whirs to a stop. While you were at the office a few hours ago, using your PC or mobile phone, you started the oven to roast a joint of lamb leg, while the washing machine begins working on yesterday’s soiled clothes.

With your home pad beside you, you can watch the news or make calls to your family and friends as you enjoy a delicious meal. When you’re done, everything goes into the dishwasher and you’re done. You check on your ref and with a few taps on your home pad, you can order tomorrow’s supplies on-line.

After dinner, you go to the den for a movie. When you choose the home theater mode on your home pad, the lights dim, the blinds close and the movie starts. When someone phones you, you get an alert on your flat screen TV. You may choose to take it, and the movie pauses for a moment; if it’s a video call, you communicate with your friend through the home pad, which has a web cam attached to it.

Before you go to bed, you go to the bathroom to freshen up. A touch on your home pad fills the tub with hot water to a temperature you’ve chosen. As you do your business, you slip your index finger to a health console to monitor your vital signs – blood pressure, temperature and the like. In a minute, you get a readout that tells you just how fine you are. A record of your vital signs is forwarded to your physician to update him of your health.

From your bed, you can easily turn off the lights throughout the house, turn on the TV screen in your room and be assured that you’ll sleep safely through the night. Should there be any breach in security during your sleep, your home pad, which you’ve placed on the side table, will give you an alert.

Is this a scene from a science fiction novel?

No. Believe it or not, this scenario for the home of the future is already a reality with Samsung Homevita.

Samsung Homevita creates a digital lifestyle by merging state-of-the-art technology with today’s residential environment for a truly digital home. Samsung combines its world-class information and communication technologies, home appliances, semiconductors and cutting-edge devices for a seamless, simple yet reliable digital lifestyle.

Samsung Homevita is the firm’s complete home network solution integrating power line control (PLC) and a wired/wireless local area network (LAN) technology. Samsung server products are designed especially to meet the needs of the Internet and telecommunication service providers.

The entire Samsung Homevita system has a host of solutions for issues like security, networking, entertainment, home control, building management, communication and networking solution. All are run on-line, operated in your home through a home pad or wall pad or from your PC or mobile home from without.

And if you think this is all a pipe dream, think again. In Seoul, South Korea, there is an entire complex of cyber apartments, known as Tower Palace that utilizes Samsung Homevita. An entire Samsung Homevita system costs $15,000, while lease at Tower Palace costs $75,000.

A group of journalists from Southeast Asia had a chance to see up close the Samsung Homevita system in Seoul last December on a familiarization tour of Samsung Electronics. It was an impressive setup that is something to look forward to.

Maybe Samsung Homevita might seem to be an impossible dream for many Filipinos, but the Korean firm has a host of other products with more affordable price tags.

Samsung has a whole world of cutting-edge cellular phones that are up-to-date with the 21st century.

For the first half of 2004, the Korean firm is coming out with two camera phones and two color display phones to suit the public’s needs.

Samsung’s premium camera phone, the SGH-E700, has a cool retro design with Intenna, a VGA camera with night mode, various photo effects, full MMS and Java capability and comes with 40 polyphonic ringtones. It weighs a light 85 grams and measures 90x45x23 mm.

This early, the SGH-E700 has already been called the Mercedes Benz of cell phones by the German magazine Aftenposten. If you’ve been sitting up all night watching cable TV, you just might have seen supermodel Stella Warren vamp it up on a car hood taking her own photos with a Samsung camera phone. That happens to be the SGH-E700.

A more affordable mass-market camera phone is Samsung’s SGH-X600 that comes with a bar-type built-in camera. The bar camera is attached to one side of the phone and can be swiveled by 180 degrees for a more mobile experience. Its camera is capable of 15 multi-shot exposure, frame and night mode and comes with a flash. It also has full MMS and Java capability. It has 40 polyphonic ringtones, weighs a light 90 grams and measures 112x45x21.5 mm.

Those who can live without a camera on their cell phones may want to consider Samsung’s premium color camera, the SGH-E100. It has a 65K color TFT LCD, has Java and MMS capability and 40 polyphonic ringtones. It is compact and light, weighing just 80 grams and measuring 83x46.5x21.1 mm.

Its mass-market color phone, the SGH-X100, has a 65K color UFB LCD screen. It has a stylish bar-type design, measuring 110x45x19.9 mm. It weighs a light 85 grams. It has MMS and Java compatibility and an Intenna.

Of course, these are not all of Samsung’s cellular phones on the market. Already available in South Korea is Samsung’s TV phone, SGH-P700. It receives television signals and has a 262,144 color TFT screen. It is MMS enabled and has downloaded Java applications. It measures a compact 92x51x26.4 mm and weighs just 130 grams. However, it operates on the more advanced universal mobile telecommunications system or 3G system, which is still not available in the Philippines.

Techies will also appreciate Samsung’s Palm OS-based PDA phones, namely the SGH-i500 and SGH-i505. They are light and compact and allow you to make calls, check your e-mails, check today’s schedules, entertain yourself with its media player and take pictures, all with just one phone. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

All these advances are in line with Samsung’s vision of leading the so-called digital convergence revolution. With strategic alliances among the firm’s business areas of core components, mobile, home and office networks, it hopes to lead the field as a digital e-company.

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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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