Back in 1997, when Bill and Melinda Gates built their house in Medina, Washington, the world waited with bated breath to see what the software king had envisaged. Xanadu 2.0, as the house, on the shores of Lake Washington, is nicknamed, was full of hi-tech surprises — but what would you expect in a residence (land included) valued at almost $150 million and owned by one of the world's richest men?
Twelve years on, here is the company Gates founded, Microsoft, showing off its vision of domestic technology for the year 2019. As well as a mirror that organizes your closet, suggesting what you wear — mis-match! — there's all kinds of delicious kitchen gadgets, plus (and this is my favourite bit) interactive wallpaper for the kids' rooms.
Most eye-opening moment, however, is the table that can turn into a screen for your smartphone, gobbling up the info on a common-or-garden paper business card and transferring it to your cell. It rather knocks the Microsoft Surface into a cocked hat. Commenters, I have to ask, which aspect of Microsoft's house of the future would you guys like chez vous — or do you reckon they missed a trick?