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Searchable Home of the Future

Future HomeA 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.


The End?

  1. szielie
    April 17, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    To Lisa:

    Never keep being the cool person you are. Stay true to yourself.

    Love, Sarah Zielie
    Class of ’98

  2. April 19, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    This is coming – in the form of RFID tags. They are already being used to track inventory as it moves through the supply chain. The only real hold-ups to what you are imagining at this point are consumer resistance born out of privacy concerns and the costs of launching something like this on a wide scale. But if you really wanted to, you could tag key personal items and install an RFID reader in your house/apmt and know where everything is. Wouldn’t work yet if you lost something outside your apmt (because the world lacks ubiquitous readers..so far). But it’s coming. The Internet of Things. Someday soon, you will not only be able to find stuff in your apmt, but you will be able to go to a bathroom in a bar and read the virtual graffiti housed on the local RFID chip via your mobile phone. If that’s what floats your boat.

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