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Take control of your kitchen with HomeManager

This new device from AT&T can turn an ordinary kitchen counter into central command.

The house I live in now is truly my dream home, and a lot of that is thanks to the kitchen. We're lucky enough to have a semiopen floor plan: our spacious kitchen opens into the family room; a swinging door separates the kitchen from the formal dining room. So the kitchen is truly the heart of our home, the place where we gather with friends and cook while the kids play nearby.

This is control. Do you copy? AT&T

I think of the kitchen as mission control in our house, and AT&T's HomeManager device could be a smart addition to our central command. HomeManager integrates an ordinary cordless phone (an essential kitchen gadget in its own right!) with a cordless touch-screen device that offers information and organization in a slick package.

The 7-inch color display lets you access a shared address book, calendar, call logs (so you can keep tabs on the teens), visual voice mail, Internet news, weather, and recipes. This kind of device is exactly what you want when you're putting dinner together while the kids do homework--you don't want to kick someone off the computer or leave the room for your laptop to look up a quick recipe for sesame noodles. Just pull it up on HomeManager and keep things moving.

Imagine a kitchen calendar that's cool enough to encourage your kids to actually write things down. I have goose bumps. Plus, you can store your digital photos on the device for a slide show display when you're not using it. It's a pricey piece, at about $300, but if you use AT&T's other services, HomeManager may be a nice addition to your kitchen.