Air Quality

Published on March 1st, 2009 | by Lucille Chi

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News from the Microsoft Futurists: A Cool Montage and Video of Visions of Clean Technology in 2019

March 1st, 2009 by  

Microsoft presents it’s vision of the year 2019, and I’m so pleased to see some thinking on the green tech side, as I’ve tried to capture in the screen-stills below. Ten years is not too far out, and some of these ideas are fun. For example:

* Connected classrooms where learners share a lesson in natural systems

* Smart home energy monitoring

* Better ecological awareness (through cataloging and intuitive access)

* Urban green roofs

Rooftop gardens are a planned part of urban development in this peak into the future, and professionals monitor the health of the urban farms, to constantly improve the quality of life for city dwellers:

Home energy use is projected routinely on the wall to help folks better conserve and save:

Kids learn in multicultural classrooms connected by interactive blackboards:

The film is a glimpse into what technology visionaries and future forecasters are envisioning. What else needs to be included? Smart transportation? Teleportation?


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About the Author

Lucy Chi loves good green design, ethical fashion, environmental art and education, renewables, holistic healing and more. She has been dedicating her energies toward finding and drawing attention to all the ways in which products, companies, and industries are moving toward creating a more sustainable world on the global scale, as well as the way individuals are moving toward living sustainably, and healing at the personal level. Sustainability studies: PresidioMBA.org & B.S. Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, Dept. of Textiles and Fiber Science. Contact: lucillechi (at) gmail.com



  • ben

    what a beautiful and hopeful look at the future. I don’t see this in 2019 as governments are still holding on to the old like republicans and garbage as such. A technocracy is the only way these kinds of technologies could ever exist in the next 100 years. We are still burning wood for warmth after thousands of years.

  • ben

    what a beautiful and hopeful look at the future. I don’t see this in 2019 as governments are still holding on to the old like republicans and garbage as such. A technocracy is the only way these kinds of technologies could ever exist in the next 100 years. We are still burning wood for warmth after thousands of years.

  • Rob

    Ok, we are closer being on the same page than I first thought.

    I see the incentive for building owners to build gardens on the roof as two pronged.

    There will be savings in airconditioning costs by keeping the roof cooler in summer, plus the ‘nice to be there’ incentive to get and keep tenants particularly in the falling market.

    Most companies do not own the building they operate out of.

    On the subject of the smart board/electronic blackboards, yes it will take some time but the starting point is having one in each school first. Not every subject will benefit greatly from this technology (at least on a regular basis) so having one and booking time in that room would work very well for most schools. This is how it works at my kids schools now.

    I’m sorry about my snippy Mac comment, that wasn’t fair. However as an IT consultant working on MS products I tend to get a lot of flack, a lot of it unjustified in my opinion.

    Home automation and power monitoring, you can buy a “Kill a Watt” power meter for about $35 and monitor individual appliances right now. It’s on my buy it next time I see it list. A networked version communicating with a low power home server seems very do-able to me. Ok, I’m a geek I already have the server… 😉

    Will these things be widespread in 10 years? That really depends on a few things, most importantly the cost of energy ongoing, and also, yes government incentives but also the public’s desire to make it happen.

    I understand the reluctance to start new projects, my ‘retirement’ funds could buy a very nice car, but certainly will not support me in the future and I know I am not alone. However, I have been looking at little ways to improve my ongoing costs, Solar panels, wind generators and electric cars are on the table. It’s a small thing but if I add a couple solar panels, use the Kill-a-watt to find the power wasters in my home and buy a Chevy Volt to reduce the gas I use we can make a small difference.

    These things can easily happen in a couple years, I don’t need 10.

    So here’s to your Volt/Ampera/Prius/Tesla and your bit of the solution Adam!

    If we all do a little it can mean a lot.

  • Rob

    Ok, we are closer being on the same page than I first thought.

    I see the incentive for building owners to build gardens on the roof as two pronged.

    There will be savings in airconditioning costs by keeping the roof cooler in summer, plus the ‘nice to be there’ incentive to get and keep tenants particularly in the falling market.

    Most companies do not own the building they operate out of.

    On the subject of the smart board/electronic blackboards, yes it will take some time but the starting point is having one in each school first. Not every subject will benefit greatly from this technology (at least on a regular basis) so having one and booking time in that room would work very well for most schools. This is how it works at my kids schools now.

    I’m sorry about my snippy Mac comment, that wasn’t fair. However as an IT consultant working on MS products I tend to get a lot of flack, a lot of it unjustified in my opinion.

    Home automation and power monitoring, you can buy a “Kill a Watt” power meter for about $35 and monitor individual appliances right now. It’s on my buy it next time I see it list. A networked version communicating with a low power home server seems very do-able to me. Ok, I’m a geek I already have the server… 😉

    Will these things be widespread in 10 years? That really depends on a few things, most importantly the cost of energy ongoing, and also, yes government incentives but also the public’s desire to make it happen.

    I understand the reluctance to start new projects, my ‘retirement’ funds could buy a very nice car, but certainly will not support me in the future and I know I am not alone. However, I have been looking at little ways to improve my ongoing costs, Solar panels, wind generators and electric cars are on the table. It’s a small thing but if I add a couple solar panels, use the Kill-a-watt to find the power wasters in my home and buy a Chevy Volt to reduce the gas I use we can make a small difference.

    These things can easily happen in a couple years, I don’t need 10.

    So here’s to your Volt/Ampera/Prius/Tesla and your bit of the solution Adam!

    If we all do a little it can mean a lot.

  • Adam

    Haha, please Rob, Apple is much closer to the top of my “companies I disagree with” list than Microsoft.

    You guys really are missing the point. I do concede that I ranted a bit at the end, so I apologize for that. However, the point I’m trying to make is not that these innovations aren’t POSSIBLE. I’m simply stating that the widespread adoption of them isn’t even close to likely by 2019. It takes massive infusions of capital to standardize something like an interactive touchscreen blackboard in every classroom in every school in America. Rooftop gardens need to be installed by building owners, and how many building owners are going to take on the extra costs of maintaining a garden that doesn’t provide any (READ: monetary) value to their business.

    I most certainly would love to see a dream like this come to fruition. But I think that the problems we’ll be facing in 4-6 years, when most of these projects will need to be started, will be quite significant and will focus the attention of governments and consumers elsewhere.

  • Adam

    Haha, please Rob, Apple is much closer to the top of my “companies I disagree with” list than Microsoft.

    You guys really are missing the point. I do concede that I ranted a bit at the end, so I apologize for that. However, the point I’m trying to make is not that these innovations aren’t POSSIBLE. I’m simply stating that the widespread adoption of them isn’t even close to likely by 2019. It takes massive infusions of capital to standardize something like an interactive touchscreen blackboard in every classroom in every school in America. Rooftop gardens need to be installed by building owners, and how many building owners are going to take on the extra costs of maintaining a garden that doesn’t provide any (READ: monetary) value to their business.

    I most certainly would love to see a dream like this come to fruition. But I think that the problems we’ll be facing in 4-6 years, when most of these projects will need to be started, will be quite significant and will focus the attention of governments and consumers elsewhere.

  • Rob

    Err, Most schools in our area already HAVE smart boards installed. Not in every classroom yet but they certainly are not unknown things to the kids.

    Roof top gardens are not exactly new things, retrofitting existing buildings shouldn’t be that hard.

    Home automation is getting to be fairly established and if the cost of the monitoring comes down just a little adoption of such technolgy should become more commonplace.

    Your comments smell of blind hate of Microsoft but without any justification in this case. This article is about a positive forward looking message, isn’t that why you would follow a website like this one?

    Go hug your Mac, your arguments are weakened by your obvious bias.

  • Rob

    Err, Most schools in our area already HAVE smart boards installed. Not in every classroom yet but they certainly are not unknown things to the kids.

    Roof top gardens are not exactly new things, retrofitting existing buildings shouldn’t be that hard.

    Home automation is getting to be fairly established and if the cost of the monitoring comes down just a little adoption of such technolgy should become more commonplace.

    Your comments smell of blind hate of Microsoft but without any justification in this case. This article is about a positive forward looking message, isn’t that why you would follow a website like this one?

    Go hug your Mac, your arguments are weakened by your obvious bias.

  • Joe

    What does oil have to do with this? Nothing, that’s what.

  • Joe

    What does oil have to do with this? Nothing, that’s what.

  • Adam

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiight…. I can’t believe that in 2009, we’re still predicting things 10 years down the road as if they’re 50 years down the road. Why is everything so cheerful and so instantly technologically advanced? I like the tool the garden monitoring guru is using to identify plants. I also like the interactive wall in the school. How many schools do you think have enough money to purchase cutting edge technology like that? What about the price of oil going through the roof as we pass peak oil? We’re going to keep building skyscrapers as the economy shrinks? Sheesh. This is so typically Microsoft. They would rather make fancy videos about things in the future than actually working to build them and get them out into the mainstream.

  • Adam

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiight…. I can’t believe that in 2009, we’re still predicting things 10 years down the road as if they’re 50 years down the road. Why is everything so cheerful and so instantly technologically advanced? I like the tool the garden monitoring guru is using to identify plants. I also like the interactive wall in the school. How many schools do you think have enough money to purchase cutting edge technology like that? What about the price of oil going through the roof as we pass peak oil? We’re going to keep building skyscrapers as the economy shrinks? Sheesh. This is so typically Microsoft. They would rather make fancy videos about things in the future than actually working to build them and get them out into the mainstream.

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