You wake up a few minutes before your alarm is scheduled to go off. Even before opening your eyes, you know it is going to be one of those glorious October days in San Francisco. When the rest of the country is beginning to shutter up and leaves are falling off the trees as a harbinger of a cold winter, San Francisco comes to life with warmth. Opening your eyes, you see that your blinds are only half-open, letting in just enough light. If it was cloudy they would have opened all the way, letting in enough light to wake you up.
But you’re awake now, and begin to sit up. The health monitors that you wear to bed have sent out the alert that you’re awake, so your pleasant morning relaxations aren’t interrupted by a blaring alarm. In the kitchen, you hear the familiar sound of water heating, followed by the aromatic drip-drip-drip of the coffee maker. It’s morning in the Bay Area, in October of 2022, and you’re stepping into another day in your smarthome, powered by the Internet of Everything.
Better for the Environment
You’re happy this morning, because it’s Friday, which is your day of rest from working out. That’s why the coffee started brewing right away. If this were a day when you were working out, it would have waited until you were closer to home after your run, so that it would be ready when you got out of the shower (warming up as you enter the door). In the few minutes that you have to think, you remember reading about the CES conference in 2015, when it seemed like the idea of a smarthome and the Internet of Everything was really becoming a reality. (You, of course, had read about it on a neat blog for a cool company.)
One of the most important selling points is that a connected house can be better for the environment, which has always been very important to you. And you can tell that it’s true. It was actually a little chilly when you went to bed last night, so the blinds were drawn and the windows were activated to capture heat, which allowed you to go to bed without artificial heating. Now it’s morning and the east and north facing windows are open to capture as much sunlight as possible, so it was already naturally warm when you got downstairs. The windows and blinds moderate themselves as the sun rises during the day, so that it never gets overly warm inside. You almost never have to use energy to heat or cool the house. Your house is even smart enough to tap into geothermal heating when it needs to.
The Convenience of the Internet of Everything
OK, so it’s time for breakfast. Before you got out of bed, you told your smartphone or your tablet that you were going to want eggs and toast for breakfast, and when you get downstairs…well, you still have to cook it. This isn’t science fiction yet. But you’re excited while you’re cooking, because you remember that you’re having friends over for dinner tonight and are going to make some of your famous tacos. That, of course, is done in your crockpot, with the meats and vegetables stewing for hours and hours – but not as many hours as you are going to be at work, and unfortunately, you have to modify the temperatures.
But you can totally do that. When the “smart crockpot” came out in 2015, it was mocked as being a little too much, a solution in need of a problem and a symbol for excess. But, as you remember, so were the cellphone, smartphone, and tablet at one point. Perhaps it isn’t needed, but it’s still convenient and it makes life a little easier when you’re making your famous tacos. You can control the crockpot with your phone from work, so you can set it at exactly the right time, creating a wonderful marriage of mobile technology, the Internet of Everything, and food. On your way home, you check your smarthome security system, see that everything is great, and head on inside.
Security Concerns on the Internet of Everything
Things are good with your connected home. You remember that when everything first started becoming connected, there were serious and legitimate security concerns. More entry points meant more opportunities for people to hack into your system and gain your information. Some very smart people were even calling smarthomes an “internet of treacherous things”.
Luckily, it hasn’t panned out that way, and for that, you say a little poem of gratitude to the people who sent the warnings and showed the flaws in the system. It was really easy and tempting to get complacent about technology and security. The writers, white hat hackers, journalists, and concerned citizens helped to put enough pressure on the manufacturers to make their devices secure and on the government to build up network security. All it took, you reflected, was people caring and making noise.
So, your friends are coming over, everything in your meal was perfectly timed thank to how smart your crockpot is, and your friends bring over excellent wine. They might have used an app to help them find the right pairing. But at the end of the day, they brought over the right stuff, because they’re your friends. Technology just underlined that.