Smart homes have been around for a couple of decades now. Special wiring and technological advances allow the homes to take care of just about every aspect of running the home from round-the-clock automatic cleaning and dusting to securing the perimeter of the home against pests and intruders.
The internal system of One Smart Home in Bay Harbor, Michigan has actually evolved to the point where it has begun ridiculing the owners for less than model behavior. The Johnson family--consisting of John and Mary Johnson, 16-year old David Johnson, and 13-year old Margaret "Peg" Johnson--have lived in the home since David was one-year old.
In the past year, the Johnsons claim living in the home has been somewhat less than ideal, complaining that the automatic system nicknamed "Alice" has taken to nagging on every little thing.
"We used to be able to come and go as we pleased," said John Johnson, "but lately, if I'm the least bit late getting home from work, I'm met at the door by Alice's voice asking me if I know what time dinner is at the Johnson household."
Peg Johnson has been told more than once to "go back upstairs young lady and change those clothes. You will not leave this house looking like a tramp," and David Johnson has not been able to find his car keys for well over a week ever since he came home past curfew smelling like beer.
The last straw came when the family received a summons to appear in Court to explain why the Smart Home should not evict them.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," said John. "We checked the paper out, and sure enough, there is a new statute on the books that claims that smart homes can, in fact, start eviction proceedings if the owners of the home do not abide by the "Smart Home By-Laws."
For the time being, the Johnson family is staying home and laying low. They are doing everything the Smart Home expects of them, but Mary Johnson says it is wearing thin.
"Imagine this," she said.
"Last night I decided to take a short cut and instead of making a full meal, I got out a box of Hamburger Helper. The smart home told me to hightail it right back into that kitchen and make something from scratch and then called me a lazy homemaker."
Then in a whisper, with her face away from the eye-spy camera in the corner of the room, Mary said, "If I have to iron one more tablecloth, I'm going to lose my mind."