IBM's home-alone PCs control appliances

IBM's revamped Aptiva PC line, which features voice commands that will allow users to switch electrical applicances on and off, will be available in New Zealand by the end of the second quarter.

IBM’s revamped Aptiva PC line, which features voice commands that will allow users to switch electrical applicances on and off, will be available in New Zealand by the end of the second quarter.

“Our new Aptiva split system creates a better fit between consumers and the computers they want for their home,” says Julie Halpin, manager of IBM New Zealand’s PC Company. “It will revolutionise the face of home computing.”

The new machines are driven by 166MHz and 200MHz Pentium processors with MMX multimedia technology, and a new 3D graphics chip. They feature SDRAM and SGRAM memory, 16-speed variable speed CD-ROMs, a subwoofer and digital imaging capabilities.

Certain models will have the new, voice-enabled version of Home Director, IBM’s hardware and software package that allows home appliances to be activated by voice commands. Home Director is the size of a cigarette packet. It plugs into the back of the PC and will handle multiple electrical appliances.

The machines can also be programmed to switch appliances on and off at certain times, giving potential burglars the impression someone is at home.

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