Life in a "Smart" World
August 9, 2014 – by Per Christensson
Imagine this. You're at the grocery store and you receive a message on your smartphone saying you need milk. The text isn't from someone at home, it's from your refrigerator. It knows you are at the grocery store thanks to the GPS-enabled app on your phone. It knows you need milk since the shelf you usually put the milk on is empty.
As you walk through the produce section, your phone beeps to let you know the store has a 30% off coupon for apples. With a single tap, you download the coupon that you can scan when you check out. As you browse the cereal aisle, your scan a few UPCs with your phone. It recommends a few options, but tells you to avoid others since the ingredients don't fit your custom nutrition plan. It also shows the prices of each cereal box at four other stores nearby.
You walk out to the parking lot and your phone points you to the exact location of your car. You get to your car and with your hands full, you tell the car to open the trunk and it opens. After loading the groceries, the driver's side door pops open even before you even reach for the handle. You get in the car and tell it to go home. It pulls out of the parking spot and drives you home safely without you ever touching the steering wheel.
As your car pulls into your driveway, the front lights of your house turn on and your garage door opens automatically. After exiting your car, it locks behind you and the door from your garage to your house unlocks. When you open the door, the lights in the hallway fade on and you hear the air conditioning kick in. However, that sound is soon drowned by soft music that begins playing from your home speaker system.
You put the groceries away and turn on your TV. It displays a list of shows you might want to watch. You tell your TV which show and which episode you would like to see and it plays it for you. Before you go to bed, you wash your face and look in the mirror. A screen in the mirror displays an overlay that shows the health of your skin. You brush your teeth and your toothbrush warns you of any potential cavities. You step on the scale and it displays a graph of your weight and health over the past year.
You climb into bed and use your tablet to raise the head of the bed up. You read a few chapters of a book on your tablet, and before you put it down, you push one more button that closes the blinds in your bedroom, turns off all the lights inside your house, lowers the temperature by two degrees, and puts your phone, tablet, and computer into "Do not disturb" mode. You close your eyes and drift to sleep.
While the story above may seem like a dream, most of these things are a reality and others are on their way. If that seems crazy, wait until you read the next update.