Smith (The Wired Nation, etc.), an editor at the National Association of Home Builders National Research Center, here presents an innovative approach to home wiring: the Smart House Project. He predicts that the ``wire mire'' of electrical, telephone, cable TV and other wires will be replaced by an integrated home wiring network by the turn of the century. Universal outlets will connect any type of device to a single cable that contains coaxial cable, electrical circuits for AC and DC currrent, links for telephone and computer, and an internal communications system allowing plug-in devices to be programmed for special functions. Such a ``Smart House'' would make possible ``futuristic'' conveniences: lights will turn on and off as people walk around the house; heating and cooling will adjust when rooms are unoccupied. More importantly, a ``Smart House'' would be a safe house. Embedded semiconductors could be programmed to sense intruders, warn occupants of fire or summon an ambulance by dint of a murmured ``help.'' Technical material is clearly presented. Despite the hucksterism and a loosely organized presentation, this reads like science fiction come true and should, therefore, appeal to a wide audience. $25,000 ad/promo; Macmillan Book Clubs selection. (October 16)
The Smart House Project of the National Association of Home Builders is an effort by a large group of manufacturers, utility companies, and builders to make a quantum leap in the way houses are wired. The project is developing a multi-wire cable that will carry both electricity and communications signals. Thus at any one wall outlet, one may plug in not only a lamp, but also a phone, cable TV set, smoke alarm, etc. Home heating and cooling will be better controlled. This report is somewhat promotional and tends to overlook potential problems. But the project is getting a lot of publicity, so libraries should anticipate interest. W.T. Johnston, formerly with Coastal Plan Regional Lib., Tifton, Ga.