We’re used to seeing traditional jobs being replaced by technology. Cashiers, phone operators and factory workers are just some of the occupations that have seen people be swapped by robots over the years thanks to constant technological advancements. Great for the employer, not always so great for the employee.
In recent times, however, technology has also started to replace the repetitive and more menial day-to-day tasks we carry out ourselves. Tools like If This Then That and gadgets like WeMo allow us to arrive home from work with the heating and television turned on and the oven cooking dinner. All automatically triggered, without us having to lift a finger.
As far as we’re concerned, if it doesn’t mean we’re going to lose our job but will make our everyday lives easier, then we’re definitely not complaining! Perhaps the retro-futuristic visions of the future seen in the classic kid’s cartoon The Jetsons were more accurate than we realised…
What tomorrow could look like?
To give you an idea of what’s possible with the technology available right now or in the very near future, here’s what a typical day could look like in your automated life…
Rise and Shine
It’s time to get up, meaning your UP wristband by Jawbone will wake you up at the optimal time in your sleep cycle – when you’re sleeping at your lightest. The wristband, knowing whether it successfully awoke you or not, tells your bedroom lights (by Philips Hue) to switch on.
Unfortunately it’s still up to you to get out of bed, but that’s easy with Nest – an intelligent learning thermostat – that keeps your home just the temperature you like. Even your towel is nice and toasty when you get out the shower; the heater turned on fifteen minutes prior to warm it up.
Showered, dressed and ready for work, you pop your smart phone into your pocket and head downstairs. The TV is already on your favourite breakfast show and a pot of filtered coffee has just brewed. You drink your coffee, have a quick bite and get a notification that your train is on time.
You go to grab your wallet but it’s not where you usually keep it (is it ever!?). Luckily it’s got a Tile attached, a minimal-looking square chip that sticks to and tracks the location of anything you own. You check the Tile app on your phone, which guides you to your wallet by telling you whether you’re close or not; a melody helps you recover the lost wallet. You grab it and run out the door before you miss your train.
All in a day’s work
You’ve been at work for two hours and have already lost track of how many coffees you’ve had. Luckily, Vessyl – a flask that automatically knows and tracks everything you pour into it and drink – lets you know that you’ve already surpassed your recommended daily intake of caffeine and sugar. Damn you, addictive Mocha Frappuccinos.
You’ve caught up with your inbox and now have a feeling in the back of your mind that you didn’t turn off the iron before running out the house. Luckily it’s plugged into a WeMo plug, meaning you can turn it off using your phone. You launch the WeMoapp and make sure it’s off without having to go back and check. Now that’s a useful app.
You’ve made it through the morning and decide to head to the gym at lunch to work off the stress and the sugar. Still wearing your fitness tracker wristband, you check the app after 40 minutes of working out to see how many calories you’ve burned. Satisfied, you have a shower and head back to the office to finish your day at work.
End of play
With work done for the day you stop off at Sainsbury’s before arriving at your front door with arms full of shopping bags. Rather than fishing around in your pockets for your keys and dropping a carton of eggs, the Kevo smart lock by Kwikset uses Bluetooth to detect if your phone is there. All you have to do is tap the door with your finger and it unlocks.
While you’ve been out, your Botvac 75 robotic vacuum by Naeto Robotics has cleaned the carpet. You get a notification reminding you to water your orchid, which your friends are always surprised you’ve managed to keep alive. To be fair, this wouldn’t have been possible without Flower Power by Parrot – a sensor that detects the moisture in the soil and whether the plants getting enough, or too much, light – helping you keep it alive.
Call it a night
“It’s time for bed,” you tell your phone after a tiring day. Siri listens, and, with the help of HomeKit in the forthcoming iOS8; locks the front door; dims the lights; switches off the television; logs your total calorie intake for the day and sets your tablet and phone to sleep mode so not to disturb you until the morning. Once in bed, the lights switch off completely. Don’t let the beta bugs bite!
Ok, so this might all sound a little too good to be true, but trust us – it’s happening. And, with wearable technology set to be the next big thing, surely the idea of an automated life isn’t all that strange? Now we just need Rosie, the household robot from The Jetsons, to do the rest of the housework for us…
Guest post by Chris Gill