The Future Smart Home

smart-houseHopefully I got enough of a workout this morning to be enough in shape for the future shoveling and throwing of snow.  It’s funny how muscles become weakened so quickly when not being used on nearly a daily basis.  I can see how the elderly who’re cooped up in their homes grow exceptionally weak from not getting even the most minimal of exercise. I always have to laugh to myself whenever younger people talk about the homes they’re looking at not having everything all on one floor.  Even the doctors tell us stair stepping is one of the best exercises for older people.

I actually enjoy doing stairs over elevators.  When I worked in the First National Bank building, I rarely ever used the elevator.  There were many times when I’d walk in with co-workers who’d be taking the elevator while I’d be scaling the stairs.  Sometimes I’d be at the end of the hallway in front of my office door before the “ding” of the elevator would sound it’s arrival on that floor.  Yes, I’d be doing a brisk pace up those stairs to beat it, but that was my own form of exercise for the day.  There’d be a few of the older workers taking the stairs throughout the day as well. One clerk who moved all day for years between floors via the stairs, lived to be a ripe old age of 97.  Can you see why?

It turned out to be a terribly dreary day to where it was so gray, it felt like being much later than it was.  I can’t imagine how people who live in places like the Pacific Northwest, as well as Upstate New York around the Buffalo area can stand it.  I’m sure they do get used to it, but there’s still got to be on-going negative mood effects from it.  Some of the people I interacted with today weren’t the most upbeat as they normally are. I didn’t even bother noticing the number of cars in the parking lots of the super stores.  I’m sure the weather hasn’t been keeping the bargain hunters from their impassioned shopping.  I’m convinced nearly all the chronic shoppers have substituted shopping for something they know they can be doing in a more inventive and worthwhile fashion.  It does make me sad when I think how few people have any sort of creative projects they’re singularly working on.  The world is becoming far too sedentary and our bodies are showing it.

I was in a home yesterday where the owner installed some “smart” switches for her lighting.  Oh Mercy!  The computers are now taking over our homes!  Hers was only on voice recognition.  Little did she know how much reading I’ve done on the subject over these recent years.  There are now not only voice activated, but motion sensitive for HVAC management as well as security, door locks, appliances, entertainment centers, and just about everything else in between.  To top in all off, you can even control your “smart home” from your cell phone.  In playing the devil’s advocate, what would happen if some crazy Russian or Chinese hacker should compromise your home’s system?  That’s exactly what’s been happening on a National scale with main frame computers belonging to banks, government offices, utility boards and more. We’re now finding the future smart home already here, and for me, it’s reminiscent of something Orwellian.

Joe Chodur

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