- TRON Project Leader Ken Sakamura, in cooperation with Toyota
Home K.K., has designed and developed a new intelligent home
based on TRON and other leading edge technologies. Called "Toyota Dream
House PAPI," this new intelligent home is designed to
reflect the ubiquitous computing technologies that will be available
for intelligent home construction in the year 2010.
- In allowing Prof. Sakamura to design the new intelligent
house, Toyota required him to learn about their modular home
construction techniques (Toyota Home makes modules for constructing
homes in factories that resemble automobile plants) and match
his design to them. This is because the firm fully intends to
market the technologies after they become commercially viable.
Toyota Dream House PAPI, which took five years to plan and
complete, sits on a plot of land near the Toyota
Museum in Aichi Prefecture that is 3,500 square meters in
size. The total area of the house is 689 square meters. It is
mainly made out of glass and aluminum, which are both recyclable
materials. The large glass windows, incidentally, have a special
coating that make them self cleaning when it rains, thus there
is no need for anyone to clean the windows on a regular basis.
The main goals of this project were to design and realize
an environmentally friendly, energy saving intelligent house
design in which the latest ubiquitous network computing technologies
created by the T-Engine project could be tested and further developed.
This is important to keep in mind, because the natural tendency
among some members of the press is to heap criticism on a house
like this as too expensive, too impractical, or too intrusive
to be sold in Japan. Not everything developed in Toyota Dream
House PAPI is going to be incorporated into everyone's house
in the future.
Toyota Dream House PAPI will be available for viewing by the
public in groups with a maximum of eight persons from March 25
through September 25, 2005. Reservations can be made via the
- Toyota Dream House PAPI was designed to interface with other
Toyota technologies. One of the most important of those other
technologies is Toyota Motor Corporation's Prius hybrid sedan,
which can also be used to supply electricity to the intelligent
house for 36 hours in an emergency, such as an earthquake that
cuts off normal electrical supplies.
- Conversely, the house can supply electricity to the battery
packs of the vehicles via the stand in the middle of the garage.
Some of that electrical energy can be obtained from solar cell
panels that cover the roof, plus the sides of the structure.
The house also uses solar heating and fuel cells, which makes
it a kind of hybrid energy house.
- One of the advantages of a home built in the countryside
is that it can have larger rooms. This living room on the left
has the floor area equivalent to small condominium in Tokyo that
might be used to house a family of four. The fireplace also would
cause problems with the neighbors, and probably local government
authorities, in a crowded urban area, such as Tokyo or Osaka.
- Large, uncluttered rooms with good internal and external
lighting surrounded by or incorporating trees, plants, and other
elements of nature are a standard feature of Prof. Sakamura's
futuristic house designs. He believes that people should live
and work in a pleasant environment, and having lots of room to
move around in certainly allows one to feel pleasant.
- The home theater with surround sound is nothing new, and
it is coming into vogue thanks to high-definition digital video
formats, high-capacity DVD players, and wide screen display technologies.
In fact, a lot of electronics manufacturers see the home theater
as the next big market once they can find the right price level
to sell to the masses.
- In Toyota Dream House PAPI, the already established concept
of the home theater has been developed one step further. This
home theater knows where the human occupants are and adjusts
the lighting and sound to their locations and preferences. If
any changes have to be made to any devices in the room, such
as the air conditioning or the ventilation, the Ubiquitous Communicator
can easily make them.
- In terms of technology, Toyota Dream House PAPI is considerably
different from the TRON Intelligent House constructed back in
1988. Back in 1988, wireless networking technology was unavailable,
so massive amounts of wire harnessing had to be used between
network nodes. In addition, there was also no technology along
the lines of eTRON to secure communication between the nodes.
And, of course, there was nothing equivalent to nanoT-Engine
and picoT-Engine to make the construction of the nodes easy.
Moreover, BTRON, which was intended to provide the standard HMI
in TRON-based networks, only existed in the form of an educational
computer operating system that was only available on an IBM-PC/AT-compatible
- On the other hand, conceptually, there is very little difference
between Toyota Dream House PAPI and the TRON Intelligent House
of 1988. The former is a ubiquitous computing network, and so
was the latter, although it wasn't called that at the time. The
main difference between the two is in the degree of sophistication
of their respective networks. As can be seen above, the Ubiquitous
Communicator (UC) can be used as remote control throughout the
home. As the user moves from one room to another, the functions
of the communicator change, and it also identifies the person
and his/her preferences as he/she moves through the computerized
living space. However, the UC is just one of many HMIs the people
in the house can use.
- Video Presentation (5:27 minutes; in English)