We have long been in an era where the internet rules the world. All information is available at the touch of a finger on our smartphones, even our personal health information. Housing developments are up and coming in smart home communities and people are trying to make this happen on an even larger scale with smart cities. The problem with smart cities, though, is the tech-centric design that current leaders in smart cities are pushing. This of course will not suit human needs and factors in a way that is feasible for all users. Smart cities are bound to have a high level of technology, and not everyone is onboard for this. QIC has the ability to assess needs and expectations of citizens to help create better homes and cities. Here we present a case of a fictional future where our protagonist is living their life with the help of SEAA (Self-Efficient Automated Agent pronounced see-uh), an automated agent that has been integrated into the lives of humans in the future. It is a mostly optimistic view on what could easily become dystopian.
I woke up to my bedroom lights being turned on and my curtains being pulled open. SEAA (Self-Efficient Automated Agent), built into my smart home and several other aspects of my life, tells me the date and that the weather is slightly cloudy. Reluctantly, I get out of bed, making sure I step on the sensor so SEAA knows I have gotten up. I walk to the kitchen to make sure SEAA is already making my breakfast. Today is Wednesday, which means breakfast is three eggs with two pieces of toast. It is a little redundant that I check breakfast is in the works since I know SEAA knows my breakfast schedule, but I like to check anyway. I sit at the kitchen island with my eggs and two pieces of toast, realize I am in the mood for coffee, and ask SEAA for some. “Coffee was not scheduled for this morning. Would you like me to make some coffee for you?” SEAA asks for confirmation. “Yes, please make some coffee.”
After eating breakfast, I make my way to the bathroom and stand in the mirror that takes in my body composition. Any data collected from the mirror will be sent to my doctor and analyzed for any abnormalities. Just last week, my friend had an infection in her ear, and antibiotics arrived at her door (delivered via drone) before she left for work. Luckily, it appears that nothing has been immediately detected for me this morning (though I know a doctor will review it more thoroughly later), so I continue about my routine. I brush my teeth with a toothbrush that vibrates every 30 seconds to tell me it’s time to clean another part of my mouth. When I remove the toothbrush from my mouth, SEAA says, “you had coffee this morning, so you need to brush for an extra 30 seconds.” Slightly annoyed, I put my toothbrush back in my mouth and finish brushing my teeth.
It is time to get dressed, so I make my way over to my walk-in closet. I could have SEAA pick out an outfit for me, but I enjoy choosing my clothes myself. Once I have landed on a red dress and a pair of burgundy flats, I feel I am ready to go, but my smart mirror thinks otherwise. “Your dress and shoes do not match perfectly. There are better options in your closet. Would you like a recommendation?” SEAA asks. I allow her to make the recommendation for me, but ultimately, I go with what I put on originally.
Now that I am dressed and ready to go to work, I make my way to the car, which is perfectly heated to 75 degrees on this chilly morning. Once inside and seated, I pull out my laptop and begin work since I do not even need to monitor the car driving itself. Quite a few years ago manual override was completely removed from cars, meaning humans don’t have the ability to take over even if they feel the need to. This made me uncomfortable at first, but since most cars on the road are also driverless, car accidents are extremely rare and usually involve an older model car that still allows human override. SEAA, who is also in my smart car, informs me that there is extra traffic this morning and that we might be a little late for work. I have a patient this morning and worry I will be late to the hospital. I look out the window, and I am surprised at what I see is causing the holdup…
Food for thought:
How do you feel about SEAA parenting the protagonist on brushing her teeth and matching her clothing? Is this helpful? Annoying?
Would you like everything to be scheduled all the time, like the breakfast in this story, or would you want to make the choice in the morning when it is actually time to eat?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Don't forget to read part 2 Life Living in a Future Smart City: Daytime
These posts are written or shared by QIC team members. We find this stuff interesting, exciting, and totally awesome! We hope you do too!