cooltown
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m-pulse / a cooltown magazine * *
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Monday, December 24, 2001

* making cooltown real

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cooltown garage

The cooltown demo center begins with a replica of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard's garage.

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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
mpluse Staff Writer

So, you've heard about cooltown, read about the 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

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cooltown home

cooltown home

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"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 works

Cooltown in your office environment could be the answer for the new mobile workforce that often requires remote access or sharing of physical spaces.

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cooltown shopping

La Gallerie

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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 loyalty.

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cooltown orbit

Orbit Club

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journey's end

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.

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1994-2001 hewlett-packard company

 

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