cooltown is based on the assumption of pervasive
technology that transforms experience. Now this vision of a world of
context-aware services, intelligent appliances and mobility is on display in
Palo Alto, California
So, you've heard about cooltown, read about
vision of the ecosystem, maybe even watched the
video, and agree that a future where people, places, and things have a web
presence, where devices deliver context-aware services and technology transforms
experience is where you want to be.
Although cooltown may seem the stuff of science fiction, HP took a major step
towards making cooltown real with the opening of a new cooltown demo center in
Palo Alto, California on June 20th. The goal of the center is for partners,
customers, and the media to be able to see the future in action today.
"Cooltown is a stage where we can demo how mobile technology can be applied
in reality and how HP and partners can make it happen," said Doug McGowan, HP
General Manager, Mobile Solutions.
back to the future
The opening act of this tour of the future begins with a trip to the past -
HP's past - in a replica of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard's garage. Set in the
context of HP's rich history of invention and entrepreneurship, a new role as a
leader in the mobile ecosystem emerges.
"As you know, the last five years have been tumultuous, with all the changes
from the Internet. We think the next five years will be even more exciting than
the last five," notes McGowan.
There are five scenarios in the cooltown center: home, car, shopping, work,
and an airport club.
home is where the connection is
"Good morning, it's 5 AM," says the Internet radio in the home scenario. Not
just a talking alarm clock, this intelligent appliance has determined from your
calendar and the local weather reports that to make your scheduled flight this
morning you needed to be awakened an hour earlier than planned.
In cooltown, a mirror becomes a multi-purpose interface to everything from
your email, pictures from Mom on her trip to the Far East, to a portal where
your personal avatar reminds you of key items on your calendar. And of course
you can still check your appearance on the way out the door.
Cooltown in your office environment could be the answer for the new mobile
workforce that often requires remote access or sharing of physical spaces.
Suppose you are traveling but need to work out of the local office for a
period of time. You arrive at a desk that is not yours, but want to configure
that work environment to your needs as quickly as possible. In cooltown, simply
swipe your company badge over the Smart Table and the desk automatically adjusts
to your ergonomic need;, your personal work portal appears on the screen
including a reminder of your scheduled video conference call.
on the road again
Car rental, too, has been cooltown enabled. Using your PDA or other personal
identifier (a smart membership card for example), check in is an Esquirt away.
And all the paperwork is a thing of the past thanks to a plasma screen in the
car that allows a simple touch of the screen to take care of these details.
Of course personal ergonomic preferences from seat height to temperature
control are also easily executed. And a smart, connected car can save you a lot
of headaches with its early warning system. In cooltown, the car will even call
for its replacement, points out David Bigio, cooltown program manager.
no more color disasters
And how will shopping change in the future? Well if you've ever struggled to
match a piece of clothing to your existing wardrobe, or bought the same shirt
three times because every time you saw it you loved it, help is on the way.
Smart clothing (ties in this case) can be swiped at kiosks that offer wardrobe
matches to keep you looking as smart as your clothing. And if you choose, you
can even access your own smart closet at home and make sure you don't already
own that shirt before you buy it again.
See a bargain in a store while you are traveling but can't bear to carry
stuff with you? No problem in cooltown - mail order, floor stock, buyer
incentives, and delivery options are all easy kiosk choices. For a retailer,
customer relationship management moves into a new realm of personal service and
The final stop on the cooltown tour is the Orbit Club, an airline club that
offers not only your favorite snacks, your favorite table, and a concierge
service to help you change hotels at your next stop, but also a personal access
screen where you can preview and select the movie you want to watch in flight
and make sure your luggage has actually been loaded on your plane.
The cooltown vision of the future is one of convenience.
"[These scenarios show] a series of services provided to you based on who you
are, what you're doing and where you are that are really easy to use and really
make your life as either a consumer or as a business person much easier and much
more powerful," adds HP's McGowan. Cooltown's scenarios will evolve overtime to
continue to demonstrate the latest technologies of HP Labs' cooltown team as
well as partner technologies. Other cooltown sites are planned for Europe and
Asia, with smaller centers planned throughout the world. Launches are scheduled
through the end of the year.