I just watched a pitch for a “Smart House.” It’s run by a Smart Phone ap. Oooooooh the possibilities! Let me tell you about the features of this marvelous product. It has camera access to every room in your house. Oh really? The bathroom? It has 2 way communication so even kids without phones can contact you by ringing the door bell. Oh, yes, there’s a camera in the door bell. It keeps a log of everyone that has been to your porch! With this ap, you can open and close your garage door, turn up or down the thermostat, turn your lights on and off, turn off your appliances (like irons and washing machines) and lock and unlock your doors. I’m like a kid in a candy store!
“Hey house! Turn on the lights, open the garage door and unlock the front and side doors.” *Waits patiently for enterprising thieves to notice.* There’s a likely participant. He wanders into the garage, and checks the door. In he comes. “Hey house! Turn out the lights.” Thief walks into chair. Disembodied voice (you) says, “You forgot to clap twice to turn on the lights.” Thief is startled, but claps twice. Nothing happens. Disembodied voice says, “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your command. Please clap twice, slowly.” Thief claps slowly. Nothing happens. “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand your command. Please clap twice, faster than last time but not too fast.” Thief claps twice. Nothing happens. He claps again faster, then again slower. Disembodied voice says, “Thank you! Thank you! I love the applause! You like me you really like me.” Lights remain off. Thief runs into another chair. Lights come on. Siren comes on. Disembodied voice yells, “Clap twice to turn off alarms and alert police that you are a friendly neighbor just feeding the fish.”
You sit in your cozy motel monitoring the poor thief and are stifling uproarious laughter. Thief is clapping like crazy to turn off alarms. Disembodied voice yells, “I’m sorry, did you clap? I can’t hear it over the cacophony. Please clap louder.” Thief runs into laundry room and closes the door. Washer starts up. Disembodied voice says, “Maria, you’re early. You don’t usually start the washer at this time. Are you under duress? Maria? Maria? If this is not Maria, invisible poison gas will shortly permeate the room and you’ll be dead in 30 seconds.” Thief runs out the door. Siren turns off, lights go out, and thief falls over ottoman. Lights flash on and off. TV turns on and off. Prerecorded horror movie starts to play. Washer turns off, radio turns on. Temperature is slowly climbing to 90 degrees. Thief is in full blown panic. He runs for the door. “House? Lock all the doors and turn off all lights, close and lock garage door. Alert police.” He tries to break the bullet proof windows. No luck. He tries to unlock the door, but you are much faster relocking it than he is opening it. Police will be there in 1 min, turn on siren, turn off lights, turn off appliances.
Police arrive to hear panicked thief begging to be taken out to nice quiet jail cell with 15 crack heads and a biker gang rather than stay in this apparently unassuming, empty house. Officer 1 turns to Officer 2 and says, “You know, that’s the 5th time this month we’ve had an attempted robbery at this place.” Officer 2 replies, “and it’s also the 5th time we’ve had the thieves begging to be taken to jail. Weird huh?” “Nahhhhhh….”
Don’t let me get a hold of this Smart House ap. It isn’t safe.