Keep up at the back
Scanning food in and out is replaced by dragging icons on the fridge’s touch screen display, which can also display weather information and notes from family members, or help you look up recipes - actions you're as likely to use your smartphone for.
The fridge may still be failing to live up to its potential, but fortunately some other devices are starting to make better use of connectivity. One that we’ve looked at before on Reg Hardware is the Withings internet scale, which can upload daily readings to the web.
And this year’s evolution of Panasonic’s IPTV front-end, VieraCast, into VieraConnect saw more fitness-related connectivity, including ICON’s iFit application. With iFit and a treadmill, you can stare at the TV and imagine you’re running around locations like Central Park, while your health and performance are monitored and recorded.
Internet connected treadmill: you jog, it logs
Using the TV as the basis of the connected home is also something on the agenda for 3View, whose set-top box includes a controller chip for the Z-Wave home automation protocol. So far, Z-Wave hasn’t made a massive impact, and it might be about to meet its match too, thanks to devices like NXP’s light controller chip, which is will allow every bulb in your home to be individually addressable over an IPv6 mesh network. If every device is capable of being addressed via IP, why invest in a separate home control system, whether Z-Wave, X-10 or anything else? Only connect
Internet appliances have been being hyped for over a decade now, and are still conspicuously failing to change the way we live. In large part, that’s because the rest of the world isn’t machine readable. Until there are tags embedded in almost about everything, many ideas will remain just that.
But, quietly and stealthily, alongside the overhyped kitchen appliances, there are connected TVs and Blu-ray players, not to mention other devices, bringing us information, entertainment, monitoring and remote control.
It may not be as revolutionary as many had hoped for a decade ago. But it’s probably about all we’re going to get for now. ®
WTF are... connected appliances?
Share and enjoy!
This stuff always reminds me of Sirius Cybernetics' GPP feature (Genuine People Personality, thank you, Douglas Adams). As I told one "ambient intelligence" guru at a conference, I don't want chatty (and smug) doors, fridges that order beer for me (and thus have access to my bank account!!) and least of all a Nutrimatic Machine (which, despite its intelligence, only makes cups filled with a liquid which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea). A system that automatically puts on "my favourite" music when I get home is likely to get a reprogramming it will never forget (with a very large ax) if it gets it wrong (yet again).
Town Called Eureka
This will only end badly, I can remember an episode of the TV series "a Town Called Eureka" where the main characters house computer (with a suitably feminine voice and persona) locks him out of his house because he didn't come home in time when "she" had cooked him dinner and informed him earlier when it was going to be ready.
Last thing we need is our appliances throwing hissy fits.
Come to think of it "Talkie the Toaster" from Red Dwarf should also serve as a warning
Sell by, use by, best before . . .
If there is a tiny weeny chance of the product looking slightly not at its best, an ingredient that may have changed a bit, the smallest possibility of a change in taste -- bin the fucker!
Then go and buy a replacement that will sit in the fridge until it's chucked out.
How come I don't think that this idea of 'intelligent (pah!) fridges' has the interests of the consumer at heart? I doubt if it even has anything to do with litigation.
And at the same time people are being prosecuted for rescuing perfectly good food from bins - a £4 sandwich that has yesterday's date on it or even today's date but it's late afternoon and the lunch rush is over -- bin it.
Michael Marshall Smith had the right idea with Stark who sympathises with the household appliances so they don't rat on him when he breaks in to places.
"Why not have lightbulbs that have customised usage patterns, so they will fade during the day and brighten at night, and capable of detecting smart phones in a room to turn the light off when a smart phone leaves customisable from a web UI"
Grown too lazy to flick a switch?
"Why not have WIFI/IR/bluetooth/NFC whatever connected hinges on doors that are capable of opening or closing doors, have the door tied to your smart phone, you approach the door smartphone in pocket it opens"
b) so any neverdowell can knock you out and use your smartphone to lead him to your house and open the doors for him?
"Why not have connected, windows/blinds allowing you to adjust the light in a room according to the time of day"
Hint: you can do it now - just pull the bloody cord!
"Why not have web connected showers/baths allowing you to fill the tub ready for when you're home"
Presumably you are normally in such a rush that you jump into the bath fully dressed? Because if not, there is usually plenty of time for the bath to fill while you undress, pick your book, make a drink, etc.
"Why not have some bloody vision, we're living in the most exciting time in the history of man"
You call *that* vision?
"your house in 10 years would be like the fucking Enterprise-E"
I bet it won't. It will just be filled with pointless electronics which will constantly fail, no one will remember one 10th of its functions or how to program them and it won't do neither impulse nor warp speed.
I thought everybody had this in their house already?
It's called a Building Management System (BMS)
I have a BMS in my home that controls all those things - PIR occupancy sensors, light sensors, the TV remote can adjust the lights and heating, and there's touchscreens around if the remote is lost down the sofa.
Plus some spare capacity for some fun christmas lights when I get around to it.
(I don't have atuomatic doors because I don't want them)
Of course, my job is to design and commission these systems - we drive lights, blinds, SmartGlass-style windows, video projectors, projection screens and interface to HVAC among other things.
The reason you don't have this yourself is probably down to the cost of the expertise to design and commission these systems. They are extremely powerful and flexible, so it takes a while to learn both waht they'll do and how to make them do it.