Remember the one about the Jetsons-minded folks who want to electronically connect you to your washer and dryer when the laundry is out of reach?
Not to be outdone, an auto parts maker has tricked out your garage door opener to put you in the driver's seat zapping commands to electricity-powered items in your home.
Apparently, cell phones, GPS navigational systems, DVD players, LED makeup mirrors and warming cup holders aren't nearly enough gizmos to drive you to digital distraction.
You've got more important things to do than drive when you get behind the wheel.
Why not control your home too?
Certainly every gadget you take on the road comes with a disclaimer that absolves manufacturers of any liability should you lose control while, say, cell phoning your laundry while navigating a hairpin curve or GPSing for directions to the home automation system installer's showroom.
So why not use technology to compensate for the fact that you can't get out of those leather upholstered bucket seats fast enough to turn stuff on or off in your home?
Ironically, the maker of seats for 80 percent of General Motors (GM) vehicles is doing just that.
Unlike, "Laundry Time", which puts the spin cycle (and other laundry information) on flat panels only in several Atlanta, GA test homes, Lear Corp. is now rolling out its futuristic garage door remote, the Car2U System, in a host of 2007 GM models from Buicks to Yukons.
The glorified garage door remote option is a three-button, DIP switch-configured, universal transmitter, embedded in your car's interior to remotely activate, from about 300 feet (100 yards, the length of a football field) not only your car's portal, but just about anything in your home that you can plug into a 110-volt outlet.
In fully-equipped cars you can also use a fob to remotely start your car, start the climate control, roll the windows, activate the entertainment system, and adjust the electric seats.
Later, modules for many electricity-power devices in your home will cost $30 to $60 each, but no price has been set for the home automation set up.
Think of the possibilities.
- You can turn on lights, music and the microwave from more than a block away!
- The SuperBowl kick off is just minutes away and you are still at the Seven-11 stocking up on beer and pretzels. No reckless driving home for you!
Just hit the preprogrammed Car2U button to crank up the big screen so the game is beaming in when you arrive. Just in case one keg isn't enough and you've got to roll two keggers into the back of the pick-up, why not also crank up the DVD recorder so you don't miss the national anthem?
- Look at it another way. The game is over, your team lost and you rush out the door to weep with neighbors. Full of emotion, you forget to turn out the lights, pull the electric shades and set the security alarm. Ah, but you've got the pocket fob. Ba da boom! Ba da bing! The house is secure and you can flee for all the guilt-free emoting you need.
The possibilities are endless.
As long as you are less than two blocks away, and the gear is in place, there's nothing you can't turn off, turn on, start up or shut down.
Out of range? Not a problem.
Drive back into range, press a few buttons and never lose control of your home again.
It gives whole new meaning to motor homes.