The Control Center
One of the first breakthrough electronic devices for the home was the Pico Electronics X-10 Powerhouse from the 1980s. It allowed owners to use their IBM home computer as a control center.
You Needed Tip Top Wiring
The IBM based hub communicated with devices such as lights via a 120kHz signal burst sent through power lines of the person’s home. Good communication depended on good wiring, and often that resulted in shaky performance as not everyone’s wiring was in the best shape. Also, if one home shared an electrical system with a neighbor who also owned an X-10, it could also mean that their appliances would turn off and on without warning.
You Can Still Use It
Strangely enough, even though this product is not about 30 years old, it is actually still available to be used in homes to this day. Users just need to familiarize themselves with navigating the old-fashioned interface and not have the ability to dim their LED lights. Another piece of memorable vintage technology was the HAL 2000 from the 1990s.
It’s All About Voice Control
This was actually pretty advanced in its day as it used voice control technology. Things like Google Home and Alexa have voice control, so you can imagine just how that was back in the day. Needless to say, it wasn’t as helpful as today’s technologies. If you were to have a conversation in front of your HAL, it was highly likely that it would result in a bunch of wanted and even embarrassing commands. Thankfully, many of these kinks have since been worked out and today’s experience is a lot smoother. Let’s see how we hold up 10 years from now.