Does My SCADpad Have a User’s Manual?

You walk up to your door and turn the key. Lights flash in a ring around the lock — it recognizes you trying to open the door. You enter, press the “home” button on the iPad on the counter and lights turn on. You change the hue from the crisper blue you like in the morning to a warm yellow you prefer in the evening. You want to watch the sunset, so you press another icon, and your misted windows become clear.

This is what coming home to SCADpad is like. Most of the electronics are controlled through the iPad. Each light has an icon that turns it on and off, and the windows can be misted or de-misted by the touch of a button. The bathroom lights are motion-sensored, so no stumbling around in the dark.

In the kitchen, the stovetop is magnetic induction, meaning the burner will only heat magnetized metal. The pots and pans have been coated in magnetized metal to respond to the burner. Have a recipe you want to try, but not all the ingredients? Grab your iPad: it can order the pantry and grocery items you need and have them delivered to your door. Don’t feel like cooking? Grab your iPad: it can order prepared food (and much more than just pizza) delivered in recyclable containers. (Unfortunately, this feature was not up and running while I was living in SCADpad, so I didn’t get to test out this awesomeness.)

Beyond the pods, technology has even been incorporated into the greenspaces. In the “playroom,” a motion-sensored light game projects overhead — you use your body to control the spheres of light on the ceiling. The projector can also be hooked up to a computer for a movie or watching TV, while laying down. And there are lightsabers. Not necessarily completely out of Star Wars, these are hollow tubes that can glow at night. And there is a 3D printer:


Those little baubles on the left were actually printed. The idea is, that whatever is not in SCADpad, you can print, although many of the objects take a few hours to produce. Still, it’s fascinating to watch the printer jets spinning around dropping plastic that builds up into a coaster or a toy car.

These features are novel and fun to play with, but it made me wonder — is this how we are going to live? Many people already have their houses hooked up to smartphones and iPads where they can lock their doors from a distance, turn the lights on or watch their children sleep. Grocery delivery is not a new thing in many major cities, but for most of us, these features are pretty new and exciting. But will this be the new norm? It’s easy to toss out ideas about what the future will be like, but SCADpad incorporates those tech features into the daily life at the pad — it’s impossible to not be in contact with “new” tech for basic things from turning the lights on and opening the windows to playing a game where you control the features with your body, without wearing any kind of device. And what about even further in the future: when the refrigerator senses the milk is low and orders another carton that’s delivered by droid to your door before we step into our self-driving flying cars to go to work? Will we even have to actually go to work? Or will we hologram ourselves in?

When thinking of how science and technology will change our lives in the future, the go-to ideas are flying cars and colonies on the moon. But what’s even more fascinating is thinking about how tech is slowly filtering its way into every facet of our daily life. Think about it: ten years ago, no one had a smartphone. And the thing that controls the SCADpad — the iPad — was introduced to the world only four years ago. There are apps for just about anything — imagine the rest of our electronics and appliances developing similar technologies.