Today we live in a world where smart houses are becoming everyday fact. When I was growing up, the idea of a “smart house” was still considered science fiction. Of course, I’m old enough to remember when The Jetsons wasn’t a rerun seen only classic cartoon channels. When Back to the Future Part II (1989) came out, the technology presented from the McFly’s future home was still fantasy, but today televisions capable of showing multiple shows at once and video door bells are things we take for granted. (No flying cars yet, though.)
My husband and I recently gave in to both encouragements from our kids and the financial relief of ditching cable TV in favor of switching to internet options like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Not only are we saving money, but we are also rediscovering a number of programs which we never had the time to watch on cable, that are available, commercial-free, at our finger tips or at a voice command to Alexa.
That is another “futuristic” feature we’ve added to our house recently, a second Amazon Echo Dot, so we that we can use them in tandem as a functional intercom, in addition to everything else they are capable of, such as giving us a weather forecast, playing radio stations, and now controlling our TV access.
There are so many time and effort saving gadgets out there, now, that only a couple of decades ago could only be seen on Star Trek or at Disney’s World of Tomorrow. We can purchase from any store or online retailer self-propelled vacuuming robots, plugs to run houselights from a phone app, and appliances such as washing machines that be preprogrammed to begin a cycle in the future and refrigerators that can email us when we need to add eggs to the grocery list.
We live in a time where digital books are available any time we wish, from retailers or even the public library, and any information resource we could want from movie schedules to college courses can be accessed from a laptop or any Wi-Fi capable device. For a one-time purchase, anyone can use a digital personal assistant such as Alexa or Siri to order dinner, schedule appointments, or remind us to pick up the kids. We can use our home Wi-Fi networks to shop for anything from a new house to a new car, and even take care of the financing and purchase insurance, without leaving our front door.
Thanks to virtual reality, we soon won’t have to leave home to take a vacation. I’m still waiting on that flying car, though.