How Closely Did the Disney Movie “Smart House” Predict Current Technology?
In 1999, a Disney Channel Original movie called “Smart House” was released. The movie featured a family consisting of single dad Nick and his two kids, Ben and Angie. The family wins a contest to win a smart house with PAT (Personal Applied Technology), and their lives change forever.
The Smartest Home of the 1900s
Just like smart homes today, the movie’s fictional artificial intelligence system performs basic tasks that aim to make the lives of the residents easier. PAT sets the house to a comfortable temperature, makes calls and identifies voices. The system also performs more complex and futuristic duties, like taking microscopic blood and tissue samples to understand the residents’ medical history and cooks meals specifically to the taste of each person in the home. Essentially, the system observes and interprets each and every one of the family’s needs and uses advanced technology to meet those needs.
At a time when most people in the U.S. still didn’t own basic cell phones, much less smartphones, the smart house technology featured in the movie. However, today in a country where most adults own cell phones and about 64% of adults own smartphones, the outlandish technology that was featured in “Smart House” seems much more attainable.
Smart House Technology Today
Many aspects of the house featured in “Smart House” are a reality for owners of smart homes today. Smart technologies today enable the automatic adjustment of temperature and the ability for the system to learn the occupants’ preferences. Automatic lighting that adjusts depending on room occupancy is another such feature. We have products like the Roomba that can clean the floors for us and smart locks that allow us to enter homes and cars without the use of keys.
While some of the more outlandish and impractical features of the home in “Smart House”have not come to fruition, it is clear that the makers of the movie had some spot-on predictions for the future of smart home technology.