Video tour of 1985 home automation system

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Mon Sep 28 11:16:22 CDT 2015

> On Sep 28, 2015, at 11:41 AM, John Ball <ball.of.john at> wrote:
>>> I wanted to share this because it's pretty neat:
>>> It's a ~6 minute tour of a home automation system from the 1980s that
>>> features graphical floor layouts and touch screen programming.  The
> system
>>> is built into the house.
>> That screen looks so much like my HP 150 that I keep wondering if that?s
> what they used >to build it.
> The IR grid for simulating a touchscreen wasn't really HP exclusive. 

No, indeed.  IR based touchpanels were used in PLATO, as far back as 1974.  I think that may have been where it was invented, but I'm not positive about that.

CDC created touch panels suitable for the curved face of a CRT, using two sheets of plastic that would touch and make contact when pressed.  That was around 1976 or 1977, in the IST terminal (also for PLATO but not as nice as the original plasma panel terminals).


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