#269 - Consumer Tech Prediction - A Hypothetical Day in the Life

4 minute read

Motto: Hey/Okay Siri/Alexa/Cortana/Google, are you hearing me?

Technology is cool.

I think we are on the cusp of a cool, new, and exciting future in the world of consumer tech. #BoldPrediction

It used to be that geeks thought "some day soon, everyone will have a PC". 
Then it was "some day soon, everyone will be on the internet". 
Then it was "some day soon, everyone will have a smartphone". 
Now I think some day soon, everyone will have a smart home. More than that, a smart everything

I expect most people already have at LEAST 3 of the following items:
  • computer
  • smartphone
  • tablet
  • smart TV &/or streaming box &/or gaming console
  • smart wearable device (smart watch, fitness tracker, etc)
  • internet-connected car
  • internet-connected speakers
  • any number of smart "home automation" devices (smart thermostat, smart lights, surveillance camera, etc)
  • Amazon's "Echo", which is really a new category of device
I think that the next big thing will be the connection of those pieces... intelligently organized and orchestrated through cloud services. You'll see product categories like Amazon's always-listening personal assistance "Echo" device become more common. All of these "smart" products will learnt to behave and interoperate with one-another under a common language, accessible from any of your various devices. Let's explore this using the following hypothetical situation:
You wake up to the smell of fresh-brewed coffee. Your coffee maker is hooked into your phone's alarm so it knows when you're about to wake up and has a pot ready for you. You go to the bathroom and weigh yourself as you get ready for work. Your scale reports your weight to your phone. You make breakfast with the television on. It flips through the latest photos you've taken on your phone or edited on your computer. You're looking at your tablet to see your calendar for the week and notice your latest fitness metrics as measured on your wearable device and your scale are both pointing in a negative direction. You use your watch to make a reminder to work out on Saturday. Noticing the time, you ask the room "does my car need gas?". Your always listening device pings your car for that information and relays the response through your connected speakers. You do need gas, so you have to leave for work a little bit early. Work is crazy busy. You barely have time to use the bathroom, much less stand in a line for lunch. You order a burrito by tapping your wrist so you can skip the line when you get there. After lunch, a package you ordered is delivered to your place. Your phone alerts you that someone is at your door. You're able to greet the delivery man, unlock the door, have him leave the package inside, then re-lock it as he leaves. You were excited for this package, so you decide to come home early. Your phone notifies you there's been automobile accident on your normal route home and automatically reroutes you around traffic. Your phone then sends a message to your thermostat to start cooling down the house in preparation for your arrival. 
All of those things are very possible with today's tech. The only thing is needed is a little bit of coordination between services. If Google's "On Hub" router becomes an always-listening "Google Now" device, if you have an Android Auto car, Android Wear device, Android phone, Chromecast/Android TV, and a computer with a Google account, you could do almost all of those things. If you have AT&T's "Digital Life", a Nest thermostat & dropcam, a "Ring" video doorbell, or really any other sufficient home-automation setup, this is all within the realm of immediate possibility... and that's cool.

I predict that these things will become more and more common place. It will slowly become just an assumed part of any home. Realtors will have to specify when a home does NOT support wide automation. That's my #BoldPrediction. 

What an exciting time we live in.

Top 5: "I'm Living in the Future" Moments I've Had
5. The first time I used a Bluetooth headset... or any time I use my Bluetooth earphones.
4. When I drop my phone onto the dock that charges it wirelessly.
3. The other day when I paid for my groceries with my phone.
2. While driving, tilt my wrist "Okay Google, text my wife I'll be home in 5 minutes".
1. When my cloud-based spreadsheet pulls in weather information according to my location, my weight readings according to my internet-connected scale, my walking metrics & heart rate from the little watch/computer strapped to my wrist, my nutritional intake according to an app/web service I use, and my financial information from another app/web service I use... all automatically.

"Cutting a corner off a piece of paper increases the number of corners it has."
- from /r/Showerthoughts, which is consistently funny -