Angry light bulb“It’s not always easy to be with smarts, especially if they are smarter than you”

The IoT aims to make our houses smarter and smarter, to enhance our comfort and our lifestyle, but what happens when a house knows better than you which behaviours are more appropriate and more sustainable for the environment for example? It could be not always easy and pleasant to be with objects as smart as you, above all if they would sometimes disagree with you.

What if the house take the initiative to tell you what to do? In fact, an object to be really smart cannot simply obey a master, it has to have a bit of autonomy, if not really its own life, at least it should have its opinion and the freedom to express it.

My idea is still to create a social object for energy saving using the physical computing, but this could be done also in a fun and unusual way, also criticising that one that could be the smart house of the future* where every object is connected.

 *An experimentation of this smart house is: Casa Jasmina

Currently the most common way for a smart object to communicate is a notification on a mobile device, but a notification is something abstract, something which could be easily ignored. If you are with someone else in the same room they won’t leave you a notification (hopefully…as unfortunately it happens that people in the same room talks through a chat rather than with their mouth sometimes). We could make objects speak, but still it’s easy to ignore someone speaking when you are not interested or disagree. Then the object should act physically. How? The strong point of objects with IoT is obviously their connectivity, they are connected within each other, than they could cooperate for their purposes.

i.e. Mo wants to go out and leave the lights on, the objects will tell him to switch off the lights. Remember, light bulbs and door are connected, the door won’t open if Mo won’t switch off the lights.

i.e. If Pim curtains see that there is enough light outside they will just roll up and switch off the lights Pim is using, ok we could make bathroom curtains a bit more yielding, nobody wants to see Pim naked.

I got this idea few months ago, when I went for a moment to the house of a friend of mine who lives in a student accommodation. As we left the apartment I noticed that he didn’t switch off any of the lights. Then I asked told him to switch off the lights, but his answer was “Oh, never mind…we never switch off the lights here, we don’t pay for it“. This made me quite upset, this guy definitely would need some of these Cheeky Objects. Also considering how many people everyday frequents places where they don’t (directly) pay for electrical energy, such of offices, classrooms, staircases and so on, the Cheeky Objects would have a lot of work to do.

It is possible to connect this concept not only to electrical objects though. What about a toothbrush where it’s brushes stick together, impeding to brush your teeth, unless you switch off the water?