The Hands-Free House

A while back our garage door opener broke.  After buying a new one, we discovered that it had a nice little feature: A motion sensor that turns the light on automatically when you walk into the garage.  After we got past our Beverly Hillbillies “someone left the light a-burning in there!” realization, we discovered that it’s actually a really helpful feature.  So helpful, in fact, that there are other rooms in the house that I walk into now only to be reminded that, “Oh yeah, I have to flip the light switch.”  So I got to wondering, what if I made a smart home, where everything in my house was automated?  What if I put every electric device in my house on a network and programmed them all to obey my every command, without my even having to command them?  Here are some imaginative scenarios from inside the Hands-Free House.

I wake up to my alarm going off.  But that’s not all I wake up to.  My lights slowly dim on, and different music plays depending on the day of the week (one less thing to think about first thing in the morning).  I sit up and say “Good morning” to a TV, which immediately turns on.  It starts scrolling the Apple TV Today View I’ve talked about before, showing me my email and twitter, as well as a weather forecast and a news ticker.  I roll out of bed, and as I walk to the kitchen, all required lights turn on, then off as I walk in and out of each room.

As I walk out the front door, the house checks to see if anyone else is home.  No?  The air conditioning lets the heat rise a bit, in order to keep those energy bills down.  The door, after confirming that I have my keys in my pocket, locks itself.  After I’ve finished my errands, my car lets the house know that I’m almost home, and the AC cools the house back down again.

After dinner it’s time for a little TV.  As I sit down on the couch, a small camera in the TV determines that it’s me sitting there (as opposed to another member of the family).  The TV quickly loads the shows that I like to watch, eliminating all hassle in the way of successful vegetation.  ••