Computers as Appliances

Keep Calm and Put the Kettle On
Credit: flickr / cole007

Typically, the first thing I do when I get home is put the kettle on. In fact if I’m working from home I’ll get up around every 45 minutes to make more tea. Don Norman wrote about automating the process (so the coffee machine talks to the cupboard, fridge, dishwasher etc) and that would be awesome.

However, as a creature of habit I want the kettle to know when my car pulls in to the garage because that’s about the time for it to be turned on (so tea is ready as soon as I get into the apartment). Unless I’m going to the gym right away, in which case I want a cool bottle of water ready to go (so my appliances should be talking to my calendar, as well as each other).

Although, if I’m really stressed, I probably want Cherry Coke rather than tea. So perhaps my appliances could monitor my twitter feed and predict what I’ll want when I get home. And if I’m working from home, my kettle should be talking to my mug and predicting when I’ll want more tea.

And, of course, if I develop a taste for white wine and that’s what I’m drinking as soon as I get in… my appliances could conclude that it’s time to call the doctor. Which presents the very interesting possibility – that in the future we won’t just be hiding our bad health habits from our friends and relatives, we’ll be choosing red wine over white – so we can hide it from our fridge.

2 thoughts on “Computers as Appliances

  1. Well one day when you are super rich from your awesome skillz you can just get a Smart house so it will know. πŸ™‚

    I also get up every hourish to either make tea, stretch or use the bathroom. People harrass me at work because I even make tea there. We have a separate coffee pot just for water. At home, I brew a lot of tea, but I still drink coffee in the morning. Seriously my favorite thing about the end of the day is my last hot cup of tea.

    In other news… I hope that I live long enough and have enough money to have a robot. It would be perfection on so many levels and I spoil my robot. I won’t live long enough to see the robots conquer humans, but I will get to enjoy the robots before The Singularity. πŸ™‚ Nerd alert? What if there ends up being this underground black market for non-intelligent kitchen appliances? We should just buy a minifridge so we can stash booze in it. That way the intelligent fridge won’t know we have booze… or cherry coke. πŸ™‚

    1. Hehe I would love a smart house that would tend to my tea needs and every so often (when I’ve reached a good point to stop) make me go to the gym or something. Mmm πŸ™‚

      And I love the idea of a black market for non-smart appliances. That is AWESOME!

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