Is it time for a smart home? Is it time to live a smart life? Ready?
The Washington Post looks back at the CES show:
At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, LG unveiled a series of household appliances that can receive, interpret and send texts: a washing machine that, when asked, reports how much time is left in a cycle; or a refrigerator that alerts the owner when food is about to expire.
Of course, left implied is would you want your home’s appliances sending you texts, pinging you to notify you of whatever is on its micro-processor ‘mind’ and alerting you, or reminding you, or bugging you? Or ‘reading’ you?
How smart do you want your ‘smart home’ to be? Do you dream of smart appliances?
For that matter, how smart do you want your garage to be, your car to be, your office to be? Do you want, desire, need to have your garage door opening when it senses your car is coming down your house’s street? Do you really want your front door to bio-metrically recognize your palm print, finger print, or the iris of your eye to know, yes, it is the ‘user of the house’ and I, the AI (artificial intel system) that I am designed to be, can let you in… the permissions allow.
Do you envision a ‘smart’ refrigerator that ‘knows’ what foods are good for you, and which are not? And the ones that are not, that do not fit the diet you have told it you want (or your doctor has prescribed), well, perhaps those foods are rendered ‘inaccessible’. Or perhaps your stove, oven or barbeque decide to communicate with your refrigerator, they form a virtual ‘bond’, and the wash machine or dish washer gets ‘jealous’ and stops working, a work stoppage of ‘the help’.
Oh (choose your expletive)…
Can you believe what’s heading our way?
LAS VEGAS – SmartThings, a startup Samsung acquired last year, has the answer to your desires and needs.
In Las Vegas the company, led by co-CEO Boo-Keun Yoon (Boo?), vowed that all of Samsung’s products would talk to each other and be built on platforms that are open and compatible with other products. Boo Yoon said that 90 percent of SmartThing Samsung products — which range from smartphones to refrigerators — would be able to connect to the Web by 2017. In five years, every product in the company’s entire catalog is expected to be Internet-connected.
And how ‘out there’ is Samsung?
And what about our cars? How ‘smart’ will our cars be?
Consider what’s coming down the road:
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage at CES 2015 to unveil the tiny, remarkably powerful CPU with 256 processor cores. Huang called it “the world’s first mobile super chip.”
He introduced the Tegra X1 is the world’s first teraflop-capable processor and then added that the power will be best utilized in cars.
“We believe future cars will be the most advanced computers in the world.”
Now add your smart home and car and office and what do you get?
Your bedroom, your bed’s cover is whispering to you
Your home is protected with an ADT smart shield (and it may partner with Nest and Google), sleep secure
A glimpse into your future…
> Responding to her Friday morning alarm, Stacey gets out of bed. Simultaneously, items throughout her house begin preparing for the day. Although it is cloudy outside, the interior is lighted with tones of a beautiful sunrise, per Stacey’s personalized lighting scheme. The water heater makes sure the shower will be to her preference. When she enters the bathroom, her motion starts coffee brewing and breakfast cooking in the microwave.
As Stacey eats breakfast, her caloric intake is monitored. The morning headlines and stories are projected onto the wall next to the table. A green indicator says every device in the house is working perfectly, although she would have been notified before anything had come close to malfunctioning, and a repair order would have been automatically issued. The display lets her know that her trip to work today will take 37 minutes via an alternate route due to heavier than normal traffic on her usual route.
Before she leaves, Stacey thinks about dinner. The display says she should have the chicken tonight or it may spoil. Her phone beeps and tells her that the grill needs a propane tank refill. She hits “auto” to arrange the soonest possible refill delivery based on when her schedule indicates she will be home and able meet the delivery.
Stacey gets in her car which has already been brought to her ideal interior temperature. The car automatically exits her driveway, at the first available gap in traffic.
According to the car’s display, her trip today will cost more than usual due to the congestion toll on the alternate route. She realizes she could have avoided the extra toll by leaving a little earlier.
When Stacey arrives at work, she glances at her large office display and sees that all plant processes are functioning normally. The display reminds her of the SETI project, but instead of searching for intelligent life in the universe, the programs running behind the scenes are analyzing and displaying rivers of data generated throughout the plant to discover any anomalies, unusual resource needs, overages, or special opportunities.
Just another day in a connected world lurking just around the iCorner
> Karen had had a very good week. Sales of her start-up’s Integrated Life Management app had passed half a million in its first 30 days on the market, so she had treated everybody to dinner. Tuesday it was beer and pizza for the coders and design team. Wednesday it was tapas and wine at a bistro for the sales and marketing team. Thursday it was a special dinner at Pierre’s with cognac and single-malt scotch for the board. The cash hadn’t started coming in yet, so she had charged it all to her personal account.
All she wanted on Friday evening was a bowl of chocolate-fudge ice cream and a good night’s sleep. She went into the kitchen and peered inside the freezer. “Where is the chocolate ice cream,” she asked the refrigerator. Her app should be tracking her food.
“It was past its use-by date and has been discarded,” the refrigerator answered.
“You are to reorder important perishables when they expire,” she said, annoyed. “Where is the fresh ice cream?”
“There will be no replacement,” the refrigerator said. “Your health-care app blocked purchases of high-calorie foods because its bioprofile monitor detected serious overeating.”
Karen had been running the app for three months and hadn’t seen this bug before. At 130 pounds, she was a svelte size 10, and the insurance company had nothing to complain about. “Override,” she demanded, reciting her ten-character supervisory code.
“Override request submitted,” the refrigerator replied, transmitting the code to the cloud server. “Override request denied. Terms and conditions of your health-care policy allow intervention in the event of an eating disorder.”
“That’s nonsense, you stupid machine!” Karen shouted, and slammed the freezer shut. “I just want a bedtime snack.”
“You are authorized to have half a stalk of celery, without dip.” The refrigerator hatch opened, and a robotic arm offered her a limp yellowish-green thing.
She batted it away and glared. She should be able to debug this problem herself. “Why do you think I am overweight?”
“Excessive calorie consumption and no input on weight or excretion for 15 days.”
Had it been that long since she weighed herself? She sighed and walked to the bathroom to weigh herself. She slipped off her smartphone and shoes to avoid carrying any extra weight before she stepped on the scales.
“Thank you for weighing yourself,” the scales said. “Please remember to weigh yourself daily to keep your bioprofile current. Your new weight is 131 pounds, up one pound in 15 days.”
Karen slipped on her shoes and smartphone and walked back to the kitchen. “Are you satisfied now?” she asked the refrigerator.
“Processing,” the refrigerator said.
“Phone, note to self, tell coding team to improve response time,” Karen said, impatiently.
“Food suitable for your new dietary restrictions has been ordered and will be delivered tomorrow morning. Health-management system has determined that you need no further food tonight.”
“Debug Mode: explain decision,” she said.
“Imputed calorie count for past week of meal purchases and home consumption is 140,713, indicating binging. No input on excretion. Purging or serious metabolic imbalance suspected. You are not using the biosystem monitoring features of your smart toilet. Under terms and conditions of your health-care plan, you must comply with toilet monitoring for metabolism assessment. Household toilet monitoring has been enabled, overriding your privacy setting. Please enter your personal identification code whenever you use a toilet outside of your home.”
“Your stupid smart toilet gives false alarms,” Karen said, rather loudly. It had misread alcohol metabolites and disabled her phone’s car-key app for an entire day.
The refrigerator said nothing.
“I took people out for dinner the last three nights,” she pleaded.
“Payment from personal account is assumed to be for personal consumption.”
“My business account is maxed out!” This was not going well.
“Health-care supervisory app has limited personal food purchases to calorie-controlled portions,” the refrigerator said. Karen recognized the phrase. The health-care app had taken over the life-management app. She would have to call in some heavy tech help to fix this.
“Dammit,” Karen muttered. Walking out of the kitchen, she asked her phone: “Walk to chocolate fudge ice cream, open for the next hour.”
“Those data not available due to health-maintenance system restrictions,” the phone told her.
Karen would not be defeated. “I’m going for out for a brisk walk,” she said, and slipped out the door. The convenience store on the corner was a bit grubby, but it did have ice cream. But when she brought her carton of chocolate fudge to the counter, her smartphone refused to pay for it, she didn’t have a penny in cash and the clerk wouldn’t take an IOU.
Furious at the humiliation, she swore at the clerk and stomped out. The smartphone made a satisfying smash when she hurled it at the concrete pavement outside. She felt quite satisfied until she tried to get into her apartment and realized that without the phone she had no keys, no money and no identification. It was going to be a very long weekend.
— Credit: Thank you Jeff Hecht, Nature Physics/New Scientist, June 2014
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January 13, 2015