See How the Soviet Government Developed Smart Houses

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The Soviet Union developed its own smart house, Skype, Google Glass and even Playstation all the way back in the 1980s.

The Soviet Union was one of the biggest countries in the world, and its leaders were really into the scientific research. Especially in 1980s, there was a big dream about filling houses with new technical equipment like wireless home electronics, laptops, smart phones, or smart watches. They imagined these housed to be in a single system, fully connected to each other, what we call it ‘smart house’ nowadays.

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The 1980s had been a new page in Soviet Union history. The period called Perestroika, was changing the life of Soviet people, with a new economic program from Mikhail Gorbachev. Numerous of institutes, including the All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Technical Aesthetics ASRITA, worked on new projects as like designing a smart house, which included many modern electronic devices. Their idea was to eliminate all self-contained devices like televisions, computers, and tape recorders and create a new system, which would be connected to each other by a central processing system.

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They described their dream in these words:

"The central processing unit receives information from the outside, over the air, cable networks, optical fibers, telephone networks, etc.; or from its own storage devices. The technique of the near future will keep the different combination of existing media from phonograph records to slides."

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"The next step is to make a universal medium on which different digital data will be stored music, videos, slides, educational and game programs, and texts... The transition to universal media of a small size will lead to a genuine revolution in the design of home electronics. "

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Their plan was laying hi-tech cables in the walls of the apartments to connect the electronic devices and manage the data through the main processor. According to the plan, the information was received by the main processor to send movies to the TV units in the living room, games to game units in other room, tasking data to the computers, or audio books in the kitchen. They even dreamed about wearable electronics as like sunglasses, which turns into a display that showed the time, body temperature, heart rate and other relevant information. Now, we call it Google Glass.

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The ASRITA produced a smart house model, which we can see above, called ‘Super Functional Integrated Communicative System’ – SFINCS. The central processing unit looks a lot like a spaceship, below.

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These strange petals in the tail are the analog types of modern SSD, HDD, flash drives or CD. They were first universal storages of the USSR. The ‘spaceship’ CPU provided both wired and wireless devices connection.

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The tiny screen was integrated with a remote controller, which actually looks like a diagonal computer keyboard, but performed as a calculator, clock, timer, and a tiny TV. A built-in microphone provided the voice control of system!

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The scientists of the SFINCS didn’t limit the functionality of this design. It was even designed to solve serious problems, it transmitted information on any kind of issues and even helped with medical diagnosis.

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As we know, the design was published in many Soviet newspapers like industrial design magazines but it never came out in real life. Everything we have has come out from the imagination of someone, and we owe countless things to all of them, even if their ideas never became reality.