The home bone’s connected to the bill bone. The bill bone’s connected to the sigh bone. The sigh bone’s connected to the…
The difference between our base line Cost of Living and our expanded Cost of Life depends mostly on the size of life we think we’re entitled to.
For most of us, the size of Life we choose seems to be a ‘larger-than-life’ one – regardless of whether we can actually afford it or not. We rarely seem to find meaning within our means these days. Living within our means feels so, well, small.
We’re all rock stars now; super consumers of gorgeous.
And as with many things – our Cost of Life aspirations both begin and end in the home.
Our home is a hub – a hub of Us. A hub that speaks of our aspirations, background, histories and values; the dolls house of our life’s journey, set out like a huge work-in-progress catalogue for the life we aspire to: a life that looks so good we’d just have to buy it (if we hadn’t done so already, three times over).
The living catalogue of Glorious Me. We’re all on air, on screen and published now, love – our perfect lives played out on facebook and twitter ( “Great Barbecue babe! Rose! Rose! And OMG!…gorgeous new garden chairs! you old fashionista you! #barbietodiefor @barbiegurl” ). Perfect lives, perfect bound by that lovely little digital printing and photo shop down the road into a coffee table book of Us.
Our home is where the Art is. The art of a life lived increasingly on camera and social network (even some of the GoggleBox families seem to be suffering a creeping upgrade to their furnishings).
And in the UK that home reaches far beyond its more recent role as the backdrop and canvass to our gorgeous perfect lives.
Let’s not forget the home enjoys near mythical status.
Because it really is our castle. (Cue Mr. Crowe’s Robin of Loxley speech in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood)
The home enshrines the right of every man woman and child to self-determination and liberty – each of us the Lord of our own manor.
If I want to crazy pave it, paint it in stripes or put crash barriers on my front lawn, I will.
Our home is connected to our fundamental human right, our sense of belonging, our individual and collective identity, the signature of our citizenship and all that goes with that.
It is our own personal cornerstone in a fair decent and thriving nation.
When viewed through the lens of values ethics and identity, the connected Home for us is a far bigger idea than some tech fest junkies would suggest.
Yes the tech junkie view of the connected home is amazing.
But too often seem to ignore or miss the social and cultural infrastructure within which that home and its occupants exist. And therefore the most compelling of ways in which to connect it and to what.
Yes, the hyper connected home should represent the purest and most uncompromised version of our tech selves. But expansive tech needs meaning.
Connected homes in technological terms are amazing things – but I wish they’d speak of them in human terms – and imbue them with the power to elevate and enable the intrinsic values and aspirations of us, not just house the extrinsic ones.
A home inextricably and invisibly connected to our human needs and desires beyond having the latest something.
Imagine of all that tech was focused on serving one greater and more liberating purpose?
Imagine if the connected home was the killer app in a smarter lighter life for everyone of us?
Imagine if your home was hard wired directly to a smarter lighter model of prosperity – where the technology was put in charge of holisticity, thrift, and the inter-relatedness and integration of all things to do with your most precious retreat.
Imagine if your home sensed everything and watched all. Imagine if it was programmed to act in your best interests?
Imagine if it was the relentless scrutinizer of every opportunity to unburden you? Acting smartly on your behalf, mostly invisibly, with you only ever seeing the benefit of an increasingly improving life at decreasing cost?
Imagine if everything that you carried into your home had a bar code that registered it and simply recalculated your insurance accordingly?
Imagine if your fridge knew what needed to be eaten when – and also made suggestions to you for the left overs in the fridge – popping up with a recipe for the last two eggs, fennel head, three mushrooms and abstract cheese from the market?
Imagine if, having read the calorie counter off your i-watch, the same fridge suggested a meal from your own fridge or larder based upon the exercise you just did?
Imagine if your home knew what size the shoes and clothes were in your house and gave you the heads up if the kids needed new trainers – or those pants were past their sell by date?
Imagine if the shower knew when you’d had enough – timed to switch off after 3 minutes?
Imagine if the grey waste wandered down a pipe to be run through the lawn down through charcoal and into a aquifer, cleaning the water to within an inch of its 7 life cycles life – to pop out again in the washing machine, dish washer, and sink taps?
Imagine if the bioacoustics – sound imaging – in your home shifted the energy utilities to the area of the house you used the most? And the floor tiles generated the energy for the low wattage lighting in every room you walked into?
Imagine a house that gave you the nod when too much screen time had eaten your synapses?
Imagine a bed that kept a record of how much time you spent in REM sleep and re-calibrated your well being regime accordingly.
Imagine a house that could read the bar code on every book in it and give you a re-run suggestion from your own library – instead of just always buying another?
Imagine a home which delivered a change is as good as a rest plan each season – with a small suggestion for how to rearrange or re-see what you have – furniture, appliances, space – to freshen up everyday life without unnecessary expense?
This suddenly transforms your home into a living evolving magazine concept – where your own home breathes in and out with you, informing and enriching your living experience by empirically understanding how you live and then helping you make the most of what you have. Apply the magazine retailing model and the connected self/connected home idea gets even more interesting.
If your home knew what reward and store cards you had and knew how many points you had accrued it could even suggest how you might use those points to best and most economic effect!
So what does this demand of us that isn’t already being done?
All of the above requires us to look at the Connected Home with Purpose and meaning – which requires us to look down through the lens of human desire and the expansive self – not up through the lens of relentless tech innovation and the optimized self.
If a smarter lighter life was predicated on super smart technologies applied invisibly to liberate the person to unburden themselves from the clutter of a ‘larger-than-life’ life and the confusion and contradiction that comes with it, starting with the bills, that would be an amazing thing.
Suddenly our ability to re-imagine prosperity in our everyday lives with meaning stops being the sole domain of finance houses and home retail stores seeking to expand their footprint in our lives.
Suddenly Tech businesses providing state of the art hyper fast connectivity move into pole position as the enablers and augmenters of a smarter lighter life – the deliverers of a new prosperity model.
And hey, every business category loves a new revenue stream and brand opportunity!!
“So,…yeah Ill take the THRIVE101 Hyper –fast, Invisible-Tech Connected Home Package please,
yup… yup…no…the one with the insurance/water/energy/credit card/retail bundle.
Nectar Card? Yes Ive got a nectar Card.
2 Million Bonus Points with the THRIVE101 UPGRADE?
errmm, OK, go on then…”