I went to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and all anybody talked about was the Internet of Things. Yes, it looks like the day is finally here when every Thing we own has a tiny silicon brain that can think and talk to you and, more important, to all the other Things, and all is connected with the great web that unites us. Reminds me of the old joke: What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor? “Make me One with Everything.”
Except now it’s not a joke. It’s your future, and it’s here.
Well, my mother didn’t raise any Luddite children, so I immediately swung into action, implementing all the gizmos, upgrades, and super-connective wingdings I saw in Vegas. I have to tell you, I’m excited about my brave new world, although it’s possible a little fine-tuning might be in order.
Take my car, which is now fully in touch with the Internet and anticipates my listening needs, regulates its fueling and fluid levels, knows my contact numbers, and has a firm grasp of my favorite destinations. It also appears to have been programmed to select a route far from that Jack in the Box on Wilshire that used to be one of my favorite stops on the way home. Oh, and it parks itself, which is convenient. I confess it’s a bit annoying to be corrected when I choose to do it myself. “You’re at the wrong angle, Stan,” it will say when it’s clear I’m doing a very good job without its help.
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When I get home, it’s like magic. My entire house knows I’m back! Lights automatically spring to life just the way I think somebody said I like them, speaking to the computers in charge of regulating my environment and informing my 72-inch 8K OLED video wall that it’s time to show me that incredibly vivid display of paints and crayon colors, which is the only programming now available for it. The good news is that I hear there’s a fabulous video of a salad being tossed in slow motion that’s scheduled for release in the third quarter.
Which brings us to my refrigerator, which knows my needs better than I do myself. “Get your hands off that cheese,” it will say, adding, “The kale is in the veggie bin.” It means business, by the way, since it’s empowered to communicate with the computer of my health insurance provider, which will ping me if it’s informed I’m not adhering to the standards that determine the size of my premium. The fridge is also in close communication with my watch, which monitors my blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, and viewing plans for the evening, and is capable of simultaneously communicating with my doctor, lawyer, and Amazon Prime.
I won’t get too detailed about my new bathroom, which has the capacity to analyze whatever is, you know, put into it. I’m thinking of having it downgraded back to stupid. Last night at midnight while I was stopping by for a visit, its voice said, “Your blood alcohol content is way over acceptable limits, Stanley. This finding will be admissible as evidence should you be apprehended while behind the wheel.” On my way out the door, I could swear I heard my digital scale say, “You’re fat.” Which I thought was unkind, particularly at that hour. One weighs the most at the end of the day, after all.
Naturally, home security is at the heart of this new world of Things. I was most impressed in Vegas with the swarm of robot spiders on display. If one senses something, the rest go skittering after, falling over one another, scrabbling forward with their cute little pincers. Together they possess one giant digital arachnid brain linked to the central command in my refrigerator. Sadly, a number of household pets in the neighborhood seem to have disappeared. I’m sure it’s unrelated.
Oh, yes! Did I mention the drones? People love ’em! They’re so much fun, from the tiny little guys that can spy on your neighbors to the big mothers that go for $100,000 and are sold to the military. Or you and me, maybe, huh? What couldn’t we do with one of those suckers!
Follow Stanley Bing at stanleybing.com and on Twitter at @thebingblog.
This story is from the February 2015 issue of Fortune.