As long as I remember, I have been fantasizing about an Ideal Home to realize my Ideal-I. Currently, I am working on practical applications of technology to improve the lives of autistic people (for a Special Issue of Applied Sciences). This blog is a collage of free writings that explore the overlap between those two. With a soundtrack! 😉
“Warm sunlight shines into the domed atrium of the Forest House, heating the walls and keeping me toasty warm even in the Autumn. I keep my greenhouse in the front of the atrium itself, always filled with fruit and vegetables and herbs that grow all year around, supplying me with a constant source of food and energy whatever the weather. The solar panels on my roof, coupled with the local wind farm that supplies the whole community, mean that all my energy bills are paid for! To give you an idea of my schedule, my early morning’s are regulated by Suka, my personal assistant, who is in fact my house’s A.I. She keeps me fit and healthy, monitoring everything from my heart rate to my vitamin intake – she even encourages me when I exercise, making sure I run and lift just the right amount.
With the morning taken care of, that gives me the afternoon to figure out what I’d like to eat for lunch. I can ask Suka for advice or work it out on my own, using the vegetables from the atrium or calling out for eco deliveries. Best of all, Suka lets me know when my fridge is running out of particular things, meaning I’m always fully stocked up! And If I make a mess while I’m cooking, Suka sends my Vacu-Buddy to scrub the surfaces (he looks like a cute little UFO and re-charges himself when his batteries are low!)
I tend to spend my afternoons reading or writing in my favourite room in the house: the natural bath, our Onsen, which has just the right amount of steam. When I’m really relaxed, I can lay back and watch the tropical birds that flit about on their trees, the whole room full of rare botanicals and orchids.“
As the short piece of free writing above shows, the Ideal Home is basically a computer in itself, like you see in various science fiction films, where the spaceship is a computer. My ideal house does not have to be in space, though, it might also be a beautiful eco house in the forest, e.g. near a sea, and there is a kind of electric tram, which you can call up to go somewhere else (e.g. to the library) and which you can also use to have things brought to you. The house has its own indoor garden, with an “onsen” (natural bath) and full of flowers, vegetables, fruit, plants, trees and animals. The weather is regulated automatically, so you never get wet from rain, but the plants can grow optimally.
In any case, the house should be high tech. There might be an automatic system that does the laundry, for example, in which you just throw your laundry in a basket, then the system will wash and dry and iron it and it comes neatly in a closet. The same goes for washing the dishes. There is also a household robot that cleans, vacuums and mops and polishes (what could that look like?) everything is automatic, you don’t have to think about anything yourself. There is also automatic waste disposal.
It’s all solar/wind/water energy and autism-friendly. For example, a refrigerator that automatically signals what is almost finished, then you get a choice screen whether you want that again or something else, twice a week someone comes with an electric car to bring your food. And there is a system that can make delicious meals and bake cakes (not sure how that would work, but one can fantasize). Because the system knows how much and what you need, you will never be hungry, neither do you overeat, lack vitamins or have mood swings due to sugar. Your health is automatically monitored and you are supported by the system to be fit and happy.
But the possibilities of the Ideal Home are not limited to health and chores, of course, they can also be in the realm of art:
Completely focused, I am in my super studio. While the paint dries and the computer automatically scans my paintings, I think about a new sentence and improvise melodies on my flute. The computer automatically converts them into sheet music, and gives various options for matching harmonies and instrumentations.– some of my creative writing from October 2021
Maybe… the computer can clone me, make a hologram copy of me or something, so that I can practice karate with myself? I could even practice sword fighting with a real shinken (sharp samurai sword) against such a virtual opponent?
There is still more to explore in the fantastic world of my Ideal Home and it intrigues me that many of the interventions that come up in this research can be traced back to Nikola Tesla… to be continued!