Making Enchanting Homes with Ordinary Things with Extraordinary Powers!


(E) Would it be nice to have your door sensing your sweeties coming home, your umbrella knowing if today will be a rainy day, your air conditioner anticipating when you need some fresh air, your car telling you that you forgot your wallet on the back seat, your garden filtering the air coming from the 101, your car instead of PG&E powering your home, and your yard helping you with your weekly workout….

Welcome to your smarter home, and hopefully for a smarter life!

The concept of a smarter home is quite simple. All the objects that we are using in our everyday life just need some processing power to become intelligent, a little bit of memory to remember things, and a WiFi connection to the Internet to communicate. And, they become suddenly smart: smart TVs, smart fridges, smart coffee machines, smart stereo systems, smart umbrellas, smart light-bulbs, smart ceiling fans, smart air conditioners, smart sprinklers, smart garage-doors, and last but not least smart beds!

And those ordinary things start to have extraordinary capabilities, as David Rose from the M.I.T Tangible Media Group lab explained in a recent interview:

But while Mr. Rose’s vision is certainly right, going to Home Depot to find out how to connect lights, garage doors, door locks, speakers and other appliances is not so easy as Tech columnist Molly Wood would tell you:

So why everyone cannot make her or his home enchanting yet as Mr. Rose did in his apartment in Boston?


We still need to find the “most wanted” use cases, ensuring interoperability between those appliances, building easy-to-use, easy-to-operate and easy-to-control user experiences that can scale to everyone home, and all of that requires to be cost-effective. Until all those conditions are met, you still can build and live in a smart home but it will take you some efforts. But some people, who are not necessary researchers at the M.I.T. Media Lab,  have done it and did adapt their homes to their lifestyles, physical limitations, ages, budgets, or simply their surrounding environments: “meet the regular people living in smartest homes”.

Adopting “new” things that did not exist before is easier than re-engineering “existing” ones that we have been using forever.

In the end, smart homes will succeed if they serve well the purpose of their owners.

Note: The picture above is an enchanting house in Capitola, California.

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Categories: Internet of Things