jayellebee's Blog

July 12, 2012

Window into the Future?

Filed under: Musings — Joanne @ 1:56 pm
Tags: , , , ,

      Disneyland re-worked Tomorrowland and razed Monsanto’s “House of the Future” in 1967.  But not before concepts seemingly borrowed from science fiction had awed 20 million visitors.  Imagine: climate control zones, carpets and upholstery woven from man-made fiber, push-button phones sporting speakers instead of hand sets, and built-in high fidelity sound systems.  The feature that impressed me even as a child was a microwave oven which cooked in minutes instead of hours.  In very short order, these pipe dreams morphed into everyday reality and the “House of the Future” became oh-so-yesterday.

     While washing windows over the past two days, my mind wandered.  Two days!  While the chore was still in progress, the dog’s nose and human fingers smudged the first panes squeegeed.  What a pain.  If science can develop self-cleaning ovens and frost-free freezers, why not windows that repel bug splats and bird droppings?  The idea can’t be that far-fetched.

     Helmets worn by dirt track race car drivers have face shields with tear-away sheets of film.  The outer-most layer gets smeared with road grime?  No problem.  A quick swipe of the hand reveals a new, clean layer.  Couldn’t there be picture window sized tear-aways?  A quick lap of the building, garbage bag in hand, and voila.  Clean windows!

     New cars have sensors which turn on the windshield wipers when moisture is detected.  Sprayers located in the hood spritz cleaner fluid at the touch of a button.  Couldn’t our homes receive similar upgrades?  At least for those windows that can’t be reached without a fifteen-foot-long telescoping pole?  I’m imagining a giant wiper blade migrating from one side to the other then disappearing into a decorative cowling.  Pfft.  Clean.  Dry.  Done. 

     A few other ingenious innovations came to mind while I was scraping stubborn crud off the windows with my thumb nail.  

     Anyone who has ever cleaned a child’s room will appreciate this idea.  Central vacuum systems hard-wired into houses already exist.  How difficult could it be to tweak one of those babies to sense anything left on the floor overnight?  While the family sleeps, the device sucks all the day’s flotsam and jetsam into a giant composting pile hidden somewhere out-of-sight.  A control panel would allow parents to dial-in the mechanism’s sensitivity room-by-room, adjusting to compensate for teen-age blight vs toddler innocence.  Who knows, the loss of a prized trading card or Barbie’s shoes might teach kids not to leave their stuff on the floor.

     Dusting.  Now there’s a ridiculous waste of time.  Wipe off the horizontal surfaces today and a month later they all need attention again.   Jeez.  Furnaces have air filters.  So, if the air is being filtered, why is there still dust floating around the house?  Silicon Valley has “clean rooms.”  All I want is a clean house without the hazmat suits.  Members of the HVAC industry, sit up and take note:  Here’s a suggestion for the perfect get rich quick invention.  Filter-alls, the furnace filter of the future, featuring micro-pores capable of stripping every last particle of dead skin from the environs.  Poof!

     Hate litter?  Picture this.  Fast food packaging with wild flower seeds embedded in the paper.  The seeds are released as the bio-degradable material decomposes by the roadside.  The recycled paper could contain some sort of fertilizer to give the seedlings a boost.  (Product warning label:  Do not chew cup.)  How’s this for a marketing strategy?  Happy Meals with your choice of seeds, geared toward Sunset Magazine‘s various planting zones.  Instant America the Beautiful, just add rain.

    I could go on, but I don’t want to miss The Jetsons.



  1. Count me in for the house of the future!

    Comment by gloria rossi — July 13, 2012 @ 6:41 am | Reply

  2. Love your sci-fi fantasies! Have you submitted this for publication? It would be perfect in the CC Times Saturday Homes & Garden section.

    Comment by Donna — July 13, 2012 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  3. I like your windows cleaning idea the best. Great ideas. Fran

    Comment by Fran Wojnar — July 14, 2012 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  4. Totally charming and funny and oh! how I agree with every word written. I once had a poster: Cleaning house is like threading beads on a string with no knot at the end. Let’s here it for the Whoosh!

    Comment by Jean Georgakopoulos — August 27, 2012 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

    • Threading beads on a string with a knot.� Exactly!� I love it.


      Comment by Joanne — August 28, 2012 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

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