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Cellphones have completely changed the way we all live. From grandmothers to teenagers, we’re talking on the phone and sending text messages more than ever. And with smart phones we’re connecting to the internet anywhere. But in the future, these phones will do a whole lot more.

Imagine when you leave home for the day. You might accidentally leave the door of the refrigerator open. Don’t worry your cell phone will send you a warning message. What if burglars try to enter your house when you are on vacation? No problem! Your phone will tell you. Imagine it’s the middle of summer and you’re on your way home. Your phone will allow you to turn on your air conditioner, so that you home will be nice and cool when you arrive.


These ideas will probably be reality very soon. At Japan’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies, companies including Toshiba, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi say they are going to create “intelligent homes” that you can manage with your phone.

Panasonic’s Echonet is already available. This piece of technology is the same size as book. You put it to on the kitchen wall and it allows you to communicate with your refrigerator, air conditioner, washing machine, oven, and burglar alarm. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a train, on the street, or at the airport. If you have your phone, you can control everything at home.

Mitsubishi plans to develop technology for forgetful shoppers. Let’s say you want to know many eggs or tomatoes you have left in your refrigerator. Your fridge will send your phone a picture and you will be able to figure out what you need.