When I was a kid growing up in Arizona one of the few memories I can recall is visiting the Ahwatukee Arizona “House of the Future” with my Cub Scout group. The house was built in 1979 at a cost $1,200,000 dollars. It was a demonstration for a planned community. It appears to have lost money every year it was sold.
Surprisingly there is no Wikipedia entry on the subject but I did find a June 23rd, 1980 article from InfoWorld on Google Book Search.
The house was designed by Charles R. Schiffner of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Built over 30 years ago it featured an advanced home automation system with five Motorola 6800 processors linked together. The system was designed by Motorola who was the major employer in Arizona at the time.
It’s important to note that the Ahwatukee home is not a computer controlled home, rather the home permits the tenant to to be in complete control of his environment, making the important decisions which will then be carried out by the microcomputer system.
That’s a quote from Charles E. Thompson, some marketing genius who seems to want to keep people from being scared of the computer controlled house. It’s also worth mentioning that 30 years later, I have been able to reproduce everything that house was capable of for a few thousand dollars and that such home automation capabilities have not yet caught on although the energy saving technologies have.
The house still exists today at 3713 Equestrian Trail, Phoenix, Az and can be seen on Google Maps. Although they gave tours back in the day for $3, I can’t seem to find any information on who the current owner is or even pictures of the interior on the internet.
Update 2016-01-14 More pictures of the house can be found at PrairieMod’s “More House Of The Future“.
Update 2012-12-27: I have found 10 photos from my trip from the early 1980’s.