High-tech efficiencies make this home entertaining — and easy
Taking your work home might not be so bad if you’re Mike Toutonghi, the engineer who started Microsoft’s effort to develop home-entertainment and automation systems of the future.
The son of a Seattle school teacher, Toutonghi used to be a jewelry designer. While attending community college he worked on the campus network and taught himself programming. That eventually led him to Microsoft, where he became one of the company’s “distinguished engineers.”
So it’s not surprising that his nearly new Craftsman-style home tucked away on a Bellevue cul-de-sac is comfortably packed with the latest technology. The house is also a sort of laboratory where he tinkers with the latest gizmos for controlling various household systems with a personal computer.
The technology is mostly invisible. All a visitor sees are fancy control pads the size of light-switch plates on the walls and a whiz-bang remote control in the family room. Like a family dog, the house comes to life when people approach, lighting up when sensors on the perimeter are triggered. Inside the foyer, a panel allows you to adjust the lights, turn on music and control the security system.