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Out with the Old:

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By Michele Narup


Everyone needs a little make-over now and again. Television is full of shows designed to modernize the look of your house, wardrobe, car, ect.


Disney is now jumping aboard the remodeling bandwagon. In the 1957 Walt Disney Land in California opened its "House of the Future," which featured microwave ovens and plastic furniture.


Those "space age" advances have already come, and in the case of plastic furniture have gone as well. So what's a multi-billion dollar company to do? Create a new future of course.


In May, the 5,000-square-foot home will reopen with a brand new look. On the outside it will be a normal suburban home, but inside is where the fun really is. It will feature hardware, software, and touch screen systems to make every day living easier.


Touch based computing and built in home networking is just the beginning for this house. When a TV remote is clicked, the lights will dim, music will shut off, and shades will be drawn automatically to show a movie is about to start. The kitchen will have special software to keep track of groceries and available recipes at all times. Mirrors could be able to identify matching outfits.


Disney, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and software maker LifeWare have already invested $15 million into the updating of this smart home. While implementing exciting new technology, the design team is still trying to maintain a look of realism in the house.


"The 1950s home didn't look like anything, anywhere. It was space-age and kind of cold," said Sheryl Palmer, president and chief executive of Taylor Morrison in North America. "We didn't want the (new) home to intimidate the visitors. We want the house to be real accessible to our guests."