A great thing about living in Japan is every month or so you can walk into an home electronics store and see the latest gadget. The one I saw recently is called Feminity (can you guess what the target market is from the name?) You thought bluetooth was going no where? Well, Toshiba has wired up all the home appliances with bluetooth so if you buy all the Feminity products they can all be controlled centrally. The way it works is there's a 12 or 13 inch touch screen LCD display you put somewhere in your kitchen. From there you can do stuff like:
Gee, I wonder what I'll make for dinner tonight? You browse recipes on the screen, have it check to make sure your kids aren't allergic to any of the ingredients, then have it send an e-mail to your cell phone (or your husbands) with a grocery list
You are going to retire for the night but you want to make sure all the doors and windows are closed. No problem, check your display, bring up the floor plan of your house and it will tell you which windows or doors you left open
You've got some fragile clothes that you are not sure how to wash. No problem, use the screen to ask and it will program your washing machine to wash it just right
Don't know how to cook something in your microwave? Ask it and it will program your microwave to just the right setting.
Kids are late getting home? Ask it where they are and it will pull up a map and point them out to you
All that and you can browse the net too.
Of course tracking your kids requires that you subscribe to a service and have your kids carry a small lojack type device on them. I thought push button Jetson style living was never coming but it seems like maybe it's getting closer each year. They show it also tracking what groceries you have but I suspect that requires you to tell it what you added and what you removed. About 10 years ago Xerox showed a system where if they put a lojack type thing on every item (like something like the anti−theft tags on CDs or books) you could track all that stuff effortlessly. Another example Xerox had was if everything was tagged including yourself you could ask your computer questions like "where did I see that cool shirt with a green and red pattern on it last week" since it would know everywhere you'd been and every item you had passed. Xerox used (uses) it inside their labs. You can do things like say "send this e−mail to everyone that was in Tuesday's meeting" and you can walk up to any computer and have your desktop and your documents appear automagically on that computer. The voice mail system also automatically routes a call to you to the phone nearest you.