Where This Meets That
The uplifting opening notes of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” start your day in a gentle loop that sweeps away your groggiest cobwebs of sleep. The melody grows louder and the room lighting grows brighter until you declare, “OK, I’m up,” the catch phrase you’ve assigned to kill the alarm. The music hushes and a pleasant voice that you have selected states, “It’s 7:33AM Tuesday. Your first appointment is at 9:00AM: Meet Jane at City Park”.
As you stroll into the bathroom, the lighting turns on automatically and turns off in the bedroom behind you. You shower at your digitally selected ideal temperature, towel off, and dress.
You speak to activate your bedroom’s wall-mounted smart-home array, which is similar to today’s iPad in appearance, only thinner. Many homes will have these arrays in several rooms, if not every room. They will be sold in bundles of four to six arrays and will network through a central “smart-hub” – i.e., your home’s “brain” – that will control most components (media, telecommunications, climate, lighting, etc.) in your home, while seamlessly syncing with your wireless devices.
“Drexel-X,” you say, “brew coffee, one.” You have just directed your smart-hub (you’ve named “Drexel-X”) to brew you a single cup of coffee. You could use the touchscreen on the wall array to do the same thing, but instead, using the unique name you chose to allow verbal commands is so much easier than that clunky old touch-screen. What’s that? Why “Drexel-X” instead of, say, “John” or “Jane”? In 2,020, you need a key word to trigger your home to “listen” to your command. Your friend John might come over one day and inadvertently play havoc with your commands. And you certainly wouldn’t want Jane to think you’re giving her commands!
Meantime, you are rethinking the shirt you picked out. It’s your favorite shirt, but you remember that Jane hates green. You pick up your iPhone 2020 and select your “Pixtile” app, which detects the “pixtile” shirt you’re wearing. Pixtile is the latest fashion craze, pixel-based fabrics that can change colors, or even patterns and prints, instantly using any wireless device. (In fact, with pixel-based paints, the same applies to paints used on your walls, car, etc..) The sky’s the limit when it comes to what styles you can sport with pixtile clothing, and speaking of “sky” you settle on a cerulean blue; Jane says it brings out the blue in your eyes.
The coffee’s aroma reaches your nose and draws you to the kitchen. As you make your way through the hallway and down the steps, the LED lighting turns on before you and off behind you. You grab the cup of coffee and a cup of fruit and detach the kitchen wall array to catch up on the morning headlines, custom selected by your “smart-agent”, a virtual filter that will give you a real-time update on your schedule for the day, the weather, area road-work and traffic delays, news about your employer or industry, etc.. Basically, stuff you can get now but without having to look for it.
Everything checks out with no surprises, so you head to the car. As you leave, your home senses your departure and enters “standby” mode: lights and appliances off and entry alarms turned on, as you have set your home’s central smart hub’s “standby preferences”.
Next “Vision”: the Road