A few weeks ago I searched through my home for a particular little blanket. I searched high, I searched low, I was unsuccessful. Then in frustration I waved my fists and said, “why doesn’t Google help me find my blanket?!” I realized I had gone crazy and my brain had linked the problem of searching or “finding something” in a real physical space to how I search for intangible things online like information, ideas, or data.
My brain then proceeded to solve the problem of being unable to solve the problem. I created an imaginary Google Smart Home.
In my imaginary Google Smart Home, cameras exist in every room, closet, drawer, and storage space to capture images and catalog my belongings. Anyone who has seen Google Street View knows how freakin’ creepy it is to see a photo of your house on the Internet. And anyone who watches Sci-Fi knows this technology could very easily be reapplied to do something really cool– like help me find missing things in my house. I could keep track of everything from the old year book (“stay cool”) to seasonal decorations (“ho, ho, ho”). Sarah had the great idea to barcode and catalog everything rather then use camera, which seems like it would be more cost effective once the idea caught on.
I also envision little terminals, conveniently mounted to fold under the kitchen cabinets, suburban style. This terminal is where I would type in “little pink blanket”. Google would review my house items and return results, maybe with a likelihood of accuracy to my query: upstairs closet 67%, basement 85%, etc.
A week after this episode, I tackled the world’s largest laundry pile in the basement. At the bottom, I found my dog’s little pink blanket. She was happy.