HP CTO Phil McKinney shows off the TouchPad controlling home appliances | webOS Nation

HP CTO Phil McKinney shows off the TouchPad controlling home appliances

by Tim Stiffler-Dean Wed, 25 May 2011 8:04 am EDT

When the Leo Apotheker, CEO at HP, told us that they have a vision for webOS devices that include home appliances, we kind of chuckled at the idea. Certainly not in a bad way - we just had no idea what this idea might look like in reality, or how people might use this futuristic feature. It reminds us of something we'd see in science fiction movies. To be clear, other third-party mobile developers have tried their hands at similar tasks on various platforms, and Google just recently announced that Android is giving it a go, but none of them have had the great success in penetrating the global market of smartphone and tablet users.

In the wonderful world of Phil McKinney, CTO at HP, that dream is becoming a reality. With a fan, lamp and temperature system all connected nearby at his presentation in Maker Faire 2011, McKinney was able to control each of them individually and easily... from the very HP TouchPad he was showing off.

The TouchPad obviously won't have all (or any) of these many different appliances connected on launch, but with the technology in place and HP's clout asking these companies to take the initiative in adding the necessary hooks, we can start to see a clear view of what HP is wanting to do with their webOS ecosystem. It's more than just creating a connection between smartphone, tablet and printer - they want everything to be connected to one central nervous system that lives on your tablet device, your phone, your computer, and the cloud.

McKinney did go on to say that all of the appliance manufacturers were going to need to work with HP to make this idea a reality, but it's coming along and looks interesting. Next we'd like to see if/how they plan on connecting with vehicles. And by vehicles, we mean flying cars controlled via a TouchPad. Of course, we'll need to just see these devices released, first. That's not too much to hope for, is it? As long as these devices will let us keep control, and not the other way around, this advancement in webOS technology is a welcome sight.