Tuesday, January 26, 2010

She wants a self-cleaning toilet, dust bunnies that self-destruct

I've been hearing a lot about Smart Houses lately and the older I get the more I want one of those.

A Smart House, if you haven't heard, is a digital version of your own home.

Smart Houses require a lot less work. They turn lights on and off. They regulate your thermostat. They open and close your fridge for you. They even start and stop your gas fireplace.

It sounds sci-fi, but this technology is available off the shelf - the only limitation is what's in your wallet. It’s pricey stuff.

I could see retrofitting our 35-year-old home to do all these things and more.

My smart home would automatically water my plants, raise and lower my blinds and feed my three Dachshunds.

There is a courting of sorts that must occur between homeowners and their smart technology. You have to allow the smart home to get to know you well enough in order to predict your activities, sort of like dating.

On the one hand, I can't imagine handing over the control of my home to a centralized, calculating, computing system with motion detectors and sensors everywhere. Would I really want to do that?

On the other hand, if I could remotely start cooking dinner at home before leaving the office, that might make it worth it.

The more I think about it, the more appealing a helpful, intelligent and friendly robotic home becomes. Brian would like it, too, since it would significantly reduce his "Honey, do" list.

While dreaming about all these bells and whistles, I came up with a wish list for my very own smart home...

I want to be able to tell my front door, "Open," and my garage door, "Close."

I'd like my washer to load my dryer, fold the clothes and put them away.

If only there were a Swiffer that could "swiff" on its own and vacuum to do the same. I want that, too.

What about a self-cleaning toilet, tub and shower? Wouldn’t that be nice?

I could use windows that wash themselves (I really don't like washing windows) and a power washer to scrub my porch and siding on command. We bought a powerwasher two years ago and haven't used it on the siding yet.

How about a refrigerator with technology that tells the grocery store what I'm out of and the grocery store automatically delivers what I need to my door? That would be a good thing to have.

I want cobwebs and dust bunnies to self-destruct and the goop in the drains to disappear with the wink of my eye. Yes!

I really could get used to a Smart House. I'll take one of those, please...

2010 © Copyright Paula Damon. A resident of Southeast South Dakota, Paula Damon is a national award-winning columnist. Her columns have won first-place in National Federation of Press Women, South Dakota Press Women and Iowa Press Women Communications Contests. In the 2009 South Dakota Press Women Communications Contest, Paula's columns took three first-place awards. To contact Paula, email pauladamon@iw.net, follow her blog at www.my-story-your-story.blogspot.com and find her on Facebook.

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