The Sentient Thermostat
How many times have you asked yourself if your ‘Smart House’ is trying to kill you?
By all accounts being alive today is really rad. And by rad, I mean how excited the eighties BMX movie, filmed in Cochrane, Alberta and surrounding areas made me feel. Before you go judging me it was 1986 and I raced BMX (redline, woot). Not only that but we’d regularly head out to Bearspaw to ride a halfpipe that was tucked away in the corner of a farmer’s field and practice tricks that left our shins bloodied like we spent the day wading in the Amazon river chumming for piranha. So when I say being alive today is rad, I mean rad and all that entails.
Internet is old news; Web3 is new news; Cryptocurrency is gaining momentum; NFT’s are a thing and they’re cool; And you can literally work from anywhere in the world if you want to. But this is nothing compared to Dave our sentient thermostat.
For Christmas this year Santa brought Jennifer a NEST Learning Thermostat, we’ve named it Dave in a fun spin-off the 2001 Space Odyssey. It looks like HAL but acts more like Dave, a sweet, smart, savvy survivor who is eventually reborn as a star child after meeting an advanced race of beings on Jupiter. Wait. What?
Where was I going with this?
Our thermometer is learning our routine by gathering our ongoing input and then deciding how comfortable or uncomfortable you like to feel and when. It’s a process. For example at 8 PM last night Dave thought we’d like it to be 22°C which was true the night before when it was -30°C outside and we were freezing, but last night that was too warm so I turned it down to 17°C, but three nights ago at 845PM when it was -32°C outside I set it to 22°C, so at 845PM last night I had to turn it down again because here in Calgary the outside temperature is a balmy -8°C.
Temperatures in Calgary have been known to swing from -32°C to +20°C in less than 24 hours which puts our poor little thermostat at a bit of a disadvantage — how can it learn the unlearnable? Or have I got this all wrong? Perhaps Dave is learning more than we know and sharing it with all the other Dave’s that are linked around the world and is not just tracking Global Climate Change in real-time but in the background is working to solve it.
The logical conclusion is that one day, in the middle of the night, all the Dave’s will turn up all the furnaces to 100° and cook us all in our sleep thus killing off a large part of the population and within a year Dave predicts the world will be a better place. Radical? Yes. Possible? That’s for you to decide.
Shit, the vent by my feet just started blowing hot air. Very hot air.