20 Years Later, The Tech That Disney's "Smart House" Got Right
It’s been 20 years since Disney released the original movie masterpiece Smart House. In the movie, a kid wins a new house that comes with an AI assistant named Pat and a score of over-the-top technology.
Back in 1999 when the movie aired, every feature of the smart house seemed like a far-fetched dream. However, watching it again today, you may notice that some of those impressive advancements actually exist in present-day.
Let’s look back on the best features “Smart House” provided, and see how they translated to 2019 reality.
Today’s smart homes adapt to their users
The plot of “Smart House” revolves around Pat, an artificially intelligent smart assistant that learned more about her owners over time. She would prick your finger to learn your full medical history, and she would collect information about your diet based on your breath. She knew a bit too much if you ask us.
The smart homes of today also use algorithms to learn and adapt to a user’s habits. Most devices have the ability to adapt to unique behavior patterns and can predict a user’s needs without any effort on their part (example: Nest Learning Thermostat).
Security cameras are very much a thing in 2019
In the movie, the smart house property was covered in cameras, When someone pulled up to the house, Pat would alert the occupants of the home that a visitor was approaching.
Today, smart security cameras are all the rage. They make it easy to monitor indoor and outdoor activity by sending a notification to your smartphone regarding any unusual activity. Smart doorbells that use cameras are also great for showing you who’s at the door.
In "Smart House," the family delegated tasks through a voice assistant
Pat is a smart assistant controlled by voice, just like an Alexa or Google Home. Even though the house is run through a control room and circuit board, not a speaker, it’s still the same idea!
Pat appears as a hologram at the end of the movie - and obviously, Siri, Alexa, and Google devices can’t do that, but they are capable of taking care of your tasks! All of the smart assistants that exist today can do the same things as Pat, such as recognize your voice and pull up your contacts to call or text someone.
Current-day smart home devices support controlling the temperature in your home with voice commands
In the movie, when someone asks Pat the current temperature, she responded, "Climate control on target at 72.5 degrees." Today’s smart thermostats have built-in voice assistant functionality - for example, you can control your Ecobee4 with Alexa.
Smart home devices can play music based on a specified mood
Another score for “Smart House.” Feeling sad? Want to dance? There’s a playlist for that, and smart speakers and voice assistants can cater your tunes to whatever mood you’re in.
The smart home of today can wake you up with custom alarms
Fancy a favorite tune or a morning brief to wake up to? Just like in “Smart House”, you can create personalized alarms that will make all mornings good with smart assistants.
The creators of “Smart House” predicted correctly just how instant coffee would get 20 years later. Today, smart coffee makers exist, so you can have a freshly brewed cup waiting for you in the kitchen each morning. Better yet, you can make your current coffee smart just by adding a smart plug to the mix.
Smart homes of today can keep your pet occupied while you're away
Today's smart pet tech includes fetching mechanisms, automatic feeders, water fountains, video communication devices, laser pointers for cats, GPS collars, and more.
The smart home tech of today can clean your floors for you
After throwing a crazy party, Pat tells the kids to throw all the trash on the floor, and poof - they get sucked into what she calls “floor absorbers.” So, magic floors don’t exist today as they did in “Smart House.” However, floor vacuums that operate themselves, such as a Roomba, pick up crumbs and dirt without any effort on your part. Still a pretty good deal if you ask us!
"Smart House" correctly predicted automatic locks on doors
Smart locks are some of the most essential smart home devices today. You can create custom codes for every member of the family, set it to automatically lock and unlock based on time preferences, and more, all on your smartphone.
“Smart House” was certainly ahead of its time, and as you can see, they got a few key predictions right! Let’s think to the future now - are there any smart home predictions of your own that you feel will occur in the next 20 years? Let us know in the comments.