But few of the creative movie makers and book writers have reaped the advantage of their creative potencies in unraveling some of the technologies which could change our lifestyles.
It is the reason why I call script and book writers “the most underrated scientists in the world— the scientists who leaped their times and thoughts beyond the orthodox norms of the society.”
Throughout history, the bizarre alien concepts which sound wildly fanciful have reached to us in some point in time— only because these creative scientists have dared to think.
The introduction of IoT, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are making sure that these ideas don’t just remain ideas by getting dissipated in the air of creativity, but have practical use cases in the world.
So, in the given piece, we shall explore some of the fictional works by these masterminds which time-travel to the future and shape what it’s called smart home technology— the technology which puts off the unnecessary use of maids, butlers, cleaners, moppers, etc.
1. VOICE RECOGNITION
Fiction: In one of the vehemently and philosophical correct books—Atlas Shrugged (Published on. 10 October 1957 and written by Ayn Rand), the protagonist character— John Galt— the inventor of avant-garde electrostatic motor, kept his invention secret in an exclusive “sound lock” which would open only with his specific sound-based password.
Reality: Ever since CNN reported about voice command devices and the billion dollars future in 2007, the industry has thrived. In 2004, a project team from the University of Houston modeled a Voice Activated Door Control System. The project looked to ease the opening-closing of the doors by recognizing the voice. Although it was a basic model, it laid the foundation for the digital maids who operated the doors in home and office environment.
Fiction: In the novel 1984 (written in 1948), George Orwell radiates remarkable political viewpoint. He brings in an exciting device— Speakwrite— a dictation machine which transliterated the speech and recorded into the typed words.
Reality: Today, almost all the devices have speech recognition software. But the root of voice identification dates back to 1952 to one of the first digit sensing devices devised by Bell Laboratories and termed as “Automatic digit recognizer” or “Audrey.” Although it had limited vocabulary, it successfully brought an ounce of Orwell’s dream-machine in reality. Today, we press our dependencies on ‘Siri,’ ‘Alexa,’ and ‘Google Assistant’ for accomplishing daily tasks at our homes.
2. SMART DISPLAYS AND COMMAND DEVICES
Fiction: From one of the legendary directors— Stanley Kubrick and his 1968 film— 2001: A Space Odyssey, explores the idea of Videophone call in a sequence where Frank Bowman— the mission commander in the space station calls his daughter from a technical set-up phone booth. It also shows the interaction between different actors through the iPad kind of devices. It is the most essential Sci-Fi movie of all time as it leaks as much as five to six futuristic ideas which are either brilliantly-implemented today or are on the verge of completion. Also, the director expertly crafts one of the most important characters— HAL 9000— a sentient computer (artificial general intelligence) which communicates with the crew members and holds the facial recognition, speech recognition, lip reading, natural language processing, art appreciation, etc., potencies.
Reality: With the accouchement of video call services like Skype in 2003 and Facetime in the year 2010, we got to know that Kubrick was way ahead of his time and was probably the first person to demonstrate the motion video calls. With the similar kind of technology mounted in Assistance Smart Displays, we can video call our displays with our mobile phones. Moreover, HAL 9000 has inspired many Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic computers and devices. Master Replicas Group has advanced further for converting HAL into a virtual assistant. The assistant potentiates the room for home control using Amazon’s Echo technology. The merger between Alexa and HAL 9000 builds an emotional connection for all the Space Odyssey lovers and takes them back to the time when these ideas looked outlandish.
Also Read: Innovation : Good Brain Vs. Bad Brain
3. HOME CLEANING ROBOTS
Fiction: No animated show has brought uncanny but trailblazing sci-fi ideas as much as the popular TV show “The Jetsons (year. 1962)” did. It comically depicted the version of the future through whimsical inventions like robotics and holograms. Rosie— the robot maid, does all the household chores including the house cleaning. Going back to the history— an 1899 drawing also showed the robotic floor cleaner.
Reality: Today, robotic house and vacuum cleaners have become extremely realistic— credits to Electrolux for introducing the first “Robotic Vacuum Cleaner” in 1996. Although the product got discontinued in the market, they relayed the Jetsons’ dream to the companies like iRobot who quids in with the marvelous IoT gadgets like Roomba 900 series, Braava jet, etc. Wi-fi connectivity, visual navigation, and app controls have made transition and cognition possible for these robots.
4. AUTOMATED HOUSE
Fiction: In the 1973-based creepy and weird sci-fi/horror novel Demon Seed, the writer Dean Koontz tries to recite a Kubrick-sque narrative for supercomputers where the set of computer instructions operates the home. The program could recognize the voice, energize home-appliances, control the temperature of the house, regulate the lights, and cook the breakfast. It was a technology-paranoia.
Reality: Today, multiple households devices are connected to each other over the internet. From automatic lights which dim and brighten in response to the environment to smart fridges which recite the recipe while you cook, from smart Bluetooth-mounted cookers for controlling and monitoring the cooking process to a home temperature monitor and controller have taken the spaces of our houses and continues to maximize the need of a digital serving maid.
Fiction: Smart House by Disney Channel ideates some of the goals for futuristic smart homemakers. Pat— the AI programmed system makes the home an intelligent house by learning things about the family members. She (the AI system) continuously gathers the data and makes the life simpler for everyone. She also calculates the required nutritional value by sucking in the sample of blood. The house takes care of its cleaning on its own.
Reality: Smart homes are in practice today. As we know machine learning is the new branch of the computer where the machine gets to learn different patterns— they are deployed in the house for figuring out the pattern for organizing our lifestyle and making us work in the power-saving mode. Auto-weather adjustment, schedule making and changing device, real-time energy monitoring, smart vents room-by-room control have come to reality and continue to evolve for the betterment of us. All the tools in the home record data and cater us the custom-tailored services in our interest.
5. FACE RECOGNITION AND RETINA SCAN SECURITY
Fiction: Star Trek— one of the most familiar Sci-Fi series by Gene Roddenberry unveils some of the bright ideas in the early 1960s. With technologies like Voice recognition, retina scan, it also conceptualized and visualized Face Recognition technology where face images or scans were used to enter the archives in the Star Trek into the oblivion.
Reality: In 1964, three computer scientists worked on their computers for developing a face-recognizing device. Though it was a man-machine and was astronomically away from an ideal machine, their insight carried the virtual objective of Star Trek into the reality. It made the world call Woody Bledsoe, Helen Chan Wolf, and Charles Bisson the real pioneers of the thoughtful model. And today, we have Face Recognition devices at our homes and offices as biometric tools for securing and safeguarding our interests.
Fiction: In Terminator— Rise of the Machine— T X Terminatrix, the antagonist in the film has a visual display which covers the computer identification and uses retina scan for operating devices.
Reality: The idea of Retinal Scan way dates back to the year 1935 when a doctor observed different blood vessels flow in the background of the eye. But retina scanning is at the new realm of biometrics. As of today, a lot of devices including smartphones provide eye-scanning security. ARROWS NX F-04G was the first eye scanning device whereas brands like Samsung, Vivo, etc. have tied up with the eye scanning biometric brands for beefing up the security of your devices. Also, residential and commercial locks made by KEES, EyeLock Nano NXT, etc. are all set to accentuate protection at your place.
6. Wearable Technologies
Fiction: In the 1989 movie— Back to the Future Part II, the wearable smart Eyeglasses intrigued many by its shape. It functioned for picking up the calls and conversing with the other devices.
Reality: Wearable Eyewear looks pretty similar to what it was displayed in the movie. Wearable technology is at the helm of its growth. It not only allows to picks up the calls or acts as the vision for blind people, but there are so many advantages besides that. It has enhanced the game experience; it has uplifted the movie trial, etc. Wearable technology is not restricted to just the eyewear. Smart watches, wearable robots, acoustic coupler, wearable computers, etc. are putting an immense show as they seep into the healthcare and education sector.
Fiction: Once again, the Starfleet in the Star Trek (1962) wear communicable badges on their uniforms which empowered them to share details in whatever dimension they were present.
Reality: Hearing aid and Calculator watches are some of the primitive and basic models of wearable technology. They sprung out in the late 70s. However, the dynamics of wearable technology has attained a seismic shift— it’s more about the smartness of the devices— the devices which could facilitate multipurpose functions like Calendaring, Activity Tracker, Blood Pressure Monitor, Alarm Clock, Calorie Tracker, Camera, Home controlling system, etc. in the twinkling of an eye.
Do you know what the toughest part in the technical world is? Implementation of the working principles in real-life cases.
History has witnessed several mind-boggling experiments and working principles getting drained into the ocean of disappointment due to zero practical implementation.
It makes movie makers and writers the spark-generators. They not only conceptualize the ideas but also visualize them for the future generation, that is, they create the vague prototype for the budding scientists.
For example, The Jetsons or Small Wonder portrays the real world use-cases which open the leeway for the scientists for creating something which could change the course of the life and make it much more straightforward.
So, tell us about your smart home? How smart is your house? Does it talk to you? What are the other senses you’d like to add in your houses? Unleash your creative capabilities and let’s know what’s missing in your home and you’d love to see.