Home automation specialist designs Microsoft Surface clone

  • Osterville (MA) - Savant Systems, a Massachusetts-based electronics manufacturer specializing in home automation, has unveiled a new coffee table that looks a lot like Microsoft's concept Surface technology.

    The "Rosie Coffee Table" integrates a 40-inch wide touch screen panel with the ability to tap into iTunes libraries, IP network digital cameras, and business card readers from the graphical user interface (GUI).

    It's very similar to Microsoft Surface, a technology that was unveiled earlier this year.  Microsoft, however, has dedicated the platform initially to professional customers.  The software giant's favorite example seems to be installing systems in bars or restaurants, where users could order and pay for their food from the touch-screen panel.  Savant's aim is more toward individual homeowners.

    Savant's other products include massive multi-room audio/video control sets and plasma HDTV monitors with built-in IP connectivity features.

    The new digital coffee table would simply translate much of the company's existing technologies to a wider, more accessible panel built into a wooden table.  According to Savant, the coffee table will be available "in a number of different furniture styles ranging from contemporary to traditional."