Smart Home serves as tech, green showcase

House Profile: Catch up with Facebook friends on your bathroom mirror

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Wish that your living room chairs were upholstered with old car tires? Want your bathroom mirror to help you keep up with friends on Facebook?

Aiming to capitalize on two avidly marketed-to interests of American consumers — anything "green," in the environmental sense of the word, and anything wired — Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has unveiled the fourth incarnation of the "Smart Home," constructed on its campus.

This year’s version has an "old meets new" theme.

The exterior of the sleek-looking, factory-built modular home remains much the same as when it debuted in 2008. But each year the interior has been renovated and updated, always with an eye toward melding technology and environmental responsibility, according to Jeff Buonomo, coordinator of temporary exhibits and events at the museum.

This year, while there’s still an emphasis on consumer technology, the environmental side has shifted slightly, from filling the house with sustainable furnishings to those that, well, have been around the track a few times.