Disney revives ‘House of the Future’

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Millions of Disneyland visitors lined up a half-century ago to catch a glimpse of the future: a home teeming with mind-blowing gadgets such as handsfree phones, wall-sized televisions, plastic chairs, and electric razors and toothbrushes. The “House of the Future,” a pod-shaped, all-plastic dwelling that quickly seemed quaint closed its doors a decade later. Now Disney is set to open a new abode in Tomorrowland — this time in partnership with 21st century technology giants.

The 5,000-square-foot home scheduled to open in May will look like a normal suburban home outside, but inside it will feature hardware, software and touch-screen systems that could simplify everyday living.

Lights and thermostats will automatically adjust when people walk into a room. Closets will help pick out the right dress for a party. Countertops will be able to identify groceries set on them and make menu suggestions.

The $15 million home is a collaboration of The Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., software maker LifeWare and homebuilder Taylor Morrison.

Visitors will experience the look of tomorrow by watching Disney actors playing a family of four preparing for a trip to China.

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