Roger M. Kaye
A retired physicist reinvented as thriller novels writer

It’s the Smart Thing to Do

By chance, I overheard some unpleasant comments about my eating habits and my lifestyle in general. I hadn’t intended to listen, I don’t usually eavesdrop on other people’s conversation but this time I couldn’t avoid it. I had accidentally touched a button on my SmartPhone that I had not seen before.

“You should see see what he eats; that peanut butter muck. I try to hide it at the back but he always finds it.”

I had not realised just how smart my refrigerator was. I had thought that it could only do a few simple things, like telling me if its door has been left open, or it’s running out of ice. I do occasionally call it on my smart phone while I’m at the grocery store to ask if I need to get more eggs or milk, but I didn’t know it was talking behind my back.

“And he spilt it on his shirt. I had to run an extra long cycle and used more soap than I would have liked.”

It was my smart washing machine. I sometimes tell it to start or pause; it has full voice control, of course, but I had never heard it talk back about anything but problems such as blocked filters or socks that were trying to hide.

“Do you know how much time I wasted on that peanut butter? It was smeared all over the plate. It was so bad that I called up conference call with a dishwasher in America; that’s where they make the stuff, you know.”

My smart dishwasher has full Wi-Fi connectivity which allows it to call up the Cloud. Of course, I have voice control via my virtual home assistant, or my smartphone if I want to take charge.

“And he keeps drinking beer. I try to keep him on track but it’s hard work.”

I had almost forgotten my smart water bottle. It claimed that drinking more water is all I needed to feel energized and in a good mood. My Hydrator Mk. 3.5 tracks my water drinking and helps me to meet my daily hydration goal. The bottle is fitted with a sensor that automatically records how much water I drink during the day.

“And what a mess he made this morning. Fried egg all over the stove. I tried to tell him that the eggs weren’t ready to be flipped but would he listen.”

I know that my Smart Frying Pan has a temperature sensor inside and tells me when to flip my eggs, or adjust the heat on the stove, but it only talks to an app on my Smartphone and I don’t put it too close to the stove since the last one fell into my morning porridge.

The SmartStove interrupted, sounding a bit upset. Although it has a built-in camera that recognizes more than 20 foods and cooks them automatically, it was not happy with my attempt to fry an egg.

Many readers will have assumed that I am making this stuff up. I can assure you that I am not, and to prove it I am going to tell you about my electric fork – nobody could make up anything so absurd. The ElectricFork monitors and tracks your eating habits. Indicator lights and gentle vibrations alerts you when you’re eating that grilled steak too fast. All the information collected by the ElectricFork is uploaded via USB to your very own online dashboard where you can follow your progress and improve your steak-eating technique.

Of course, if you overcook your steak, you will throw it in the garbage can. Just make sure that you have a SmartCan which automatically adds items to your grocery list as you dispose of them. You’ll never find yourself without peanut butter again.

All the smart devices mentioned here are genuine products, only the names have been changed. I don’t want them calling me to complain that I am not taking them seriously – it’s the smart thing to do.

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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