I am a mother of two boys under the age of 7. I work from home (I really work, it’s not code for sit around in my pyjamas and watch TV all day). I don’t have any help – no cook, no cleaner, no driver, no washman, no nanny or maid. So I am everything.
My life is obviously very busy. Even without my work, it would be busy. To give you some insight into how I feel most day, my idea of a perfect gift is for someone to take my husband and kids and everything else away and leave me in a room without a phone or Internet access so that I can sleep. Uninterrupted. For 12 hours.
Most of my time outside of my working hours are spent juggling the calendars of my two kids and my hubby. One of my boys has a more active social life than I do, with parties almost every weekend, play dates whenever he can wrangle an invite and a host of after school activities plus homework. So there is a lot of driving and coordinating and gift buying and cooking and cleaning and photos taking. Did I mention that I work as well?
The other day I was playing chauffer and waiting at the train station for my hubby to arrive from work. I had a f
ew minutes to kill and decided to play around with my phone. I am a Samsung Galaxy Note user and lover… (Insert wisecracks about exploding phones). Anyway as I was looking at all of the notifications on my phone, I decided to delve into the Samsung myGalaxy app and I fell in love. I was introduced to the Samsung Family Hub Fridge. As hubby got into the car and I read him all of its wonderful features, he got as excited as I did and then he asked how much it cost. When I told him, there was… silence.
In the silence, I realized that the only way I would be able to afford that fridge anytime soon was in my dreams. And that got me thinking…. What would my days be like if I could have some of the best tech that was available in the world today. And so I started to dream….
The morning starts with the smart alarm on my Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (in my dream they don’t spontaneously combust) waking me up very gently with the volume of the alarm increasing ever so gently. None of that jarring sudden loud noise to wake me up and put me in a bad mood.
As I wake up, my smart home has warmed the bedroom just the way I like it. I turn on the coffee maker from my bed and get up. BIG-I (my family friendly robot by NXROBO) hears my alarm and comes into my room to remind me of all the morning tasks I have – PE bag, homework, Monday morning spelling test.
I get dressed to go for a run (yes I run in my dreams). BIG-I sees me heading out and tells me it’s going to rain so I grab a rain jacket. As I head home after my 3 mile run, the GPS tracker on my phone alerts my smart shower and it heats up to the right temperature ready and waiting for when I walk in.
Breakfast time is as chaotic as ever with two young boys, by the time we are done, there is cereal and milk all over the floor but am I flustered? No. Because I know that Big-I is programmed to ask my IRobot Roomba 880 to clean up the mess as soon as I walk out of the door.
It’s time for the school run, I grab the kids, get into my Tesla Model X and tell it to take me to their school. As it goes into full self pilot mode, i can talk some more with the kids, look over their homework and work on those niggly spellings for the Monday morning spelling test.
A text comes into my phone from my hubby telling me he forgot to take his packed lunch. No problem! “Hi phone”, I say, “remind me to send hubby’s lunch to him when I get home”.
We get to the school and we all get out while the car goes off to park itself or ride around the block if it can’t find a suitable space to park – better the car than me. I drop the kids off at the playground and tap my phone to summon my car and it comes to find me. I get in and head for home. The car is back in full self pilot mode so I have time to answer a few emails and reorder my calendar.
Now that i have freed up 15 minutes by working on the drive home, i decide to quickly do some grocery shopping. Wait, I didn’t take my bank cards with me. Not to worry, who needs cards when you have an Amazon Go store with Just walk out shopping? I tell my car to head to the new Amazon Go store, i jump out and the car goes to park itself.
I open the Amazon Go app, walk into the store and grab a trolley. Oh look, carrots are on offer today. Do I need carrots or have I still got a bag in the fridge? I open my Smart Home app and look into my Samsung Family Hub fridge… no Carrots. Great, I put a bag of Carrots in my trolley, grab a few other things and walk out. No lines, no checkout, just grab and Go!
As I bring out my phone to summon my car, I quickly check how much i just spent in the store. Back into my car and off home. I grab the groceries and approach the door and it unlocks as I approach. It’s great not to have to put the bags down, fish around for the keys, open the door and then pick up the bags again – you catch my drift.
I walk in and my reminder about hubby’s lunch pops up. I open the fridge and grab his lunch, bring out the drone and call hubby as I walk to the front door. I choose the location i want the drone to fly to hubbys office and i send it off. He calls me when he retrieves it and sends the drone back home.
The day goes on like that with Alexa ordering gifts for the weekend parties my kids have to go to. I am reminded by the notification that pops up on the Family Hub fridge. I can also see that we are having friends over for dinner and I want to cook something new. I find a recipe on the large touch screen in front of the fridge and order the ingredients straight away. They are delivered promptly at 5pm by a delivery drone. Just in time to cook dinner. When the kids get home and sneakily try to turn on the TV before their homework, it doesn’t come on and BIG-I reminds them that they can watch TV for an hour after lunch and homework and chores. Of course they take the news better from a robot than from me but I’m not mad because it means I don’t have to keep checking that they haven’t turned on the TV. Tricky homework? Ask Alexa or ask Google. I love how the kids always say please and thank you to virtual assistants when they get an answer.
Dinner and the bedtime routine is easy with the oven programmed to heat up dinner at 6. The shower at the optimum temperature for bath time and the lights in the kids bedroom dimming at precisely 7:30. One day down, many many more to go.
Dream over. Time to come back to the real world. I am relaxed just thinking of all the time i have freed up in my day by using smart and intelligent devices. Yes I know these things are not cheap and there is still some way to go before regulation is granted to use some of these devices to their full potential but there is a lesson here – technology can help make our daily lives a lot easier but only if we know that it exists. There is so much available these days – devices, apps and services – a lot of it free or at least embedded into devices that we already own that can make our lives a lot easier. I spend my days helping people and businesses work smarter and more efficiently and I like to do that in my own life too so I use apps and device and serviceso anything that I can find to help me do things faster, better and on time. I talk to my phone to set reminders, I use text to speech sometimes for chatting or writing emails. I store everything in the cloud so I can access it from anywhere and at anytime. I pay for my shopping in stores with my phone. I read about the devices I have so I can use them to their full potential and I am constantly looking for what else I can find to make my life easier.
My challenge to you is to do the same. Technology doesn’t have to be scary or out of your reach or expensive. Ask Siri or Google or Cortana or Alexa to help you find things to make your life easier. If it doesn’t exist yet I am sure someone (or you) can build it.
So dive in and make your dream day/life a reality. Better still, come to TechPlus in 2017 and get inspired.
Techplus 2017 Project Director