Sunday, October 21, 2012

Remote-controlled living
I see Panasonic is massively advertising their new line of remotely controlled household appliances, including by movies in the trains. I think they're on to something here, although it's hard to see how useful it would be to be able to turn a washer/dryer on and off remotely. (Being able to drop your clothes in the corner and at the press of a button have them washed, dried, folded, and put away is another matter.) 

But just think how handy it would be to turn on your coffee maker ten minutes before you roll out of bed, just by pushing a button under your pillow. And how fine it would be on a blistering summer day to turn on the air-conditioner in your apartment while you are still on the train going home. Or on a frigid winter day to remotely turn on the heater so you'd open a door to a cheery apartment. At the touch of a button you could have the bath all ready for you when you get home.

The idea is sure to catch on and to be expanded. Wouldn't it be a fine thing, for instance, if instead of having to go shopping for groceries you could just press the CROISSANTS, MARMALADE, EGGS, and BEER buttons on your remote controller and have your refrigerator automatically restocked? Press a button and the daily newspaper would be delivered directly to your easy chair.

You would only rarely have to go to the office because all paperwork would be available to you on the display of your computer at home and you could sit in on any conference you think might be interesting represented by a remote-controlled effigy, which you could make pound on the table to emphasize a point. The cellphone of that attractive lady whose desk is by the window could be contacted by your cellphone who would ask her to press either the LOVELY! or GET LOST button in response to your remotely controlled invitation to dinner.

But after all there are somethings we just won't be able to do by remote control.  Like die, for instance.

- Zeke Suzuki, Dreamer in Residence 

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