Skip to main content

Death by Appliance

Apr 07, 2016 12:01PM, Published by Bryan Scott, Categories: Business



By Peri Kinder

I’m pretty sure my hair dryer tried to kill me. Its cord wrapped around a drawer handle, pulling the dryer out of my hand where it crashed into my shoulder and hip before smashing onto my foot. It’s not the first time I’ve been attacked by a machine.

It got me thinking — if regular appliances can figure out how to bump me off, imagine how easy it will be for smart appliances to murder unsuspecting homeowners.

I remember when the Clapper was invented. It was pure magic. You clapped your hands, your lamp shut off. Simple. Non-threatening. But I’ve watched enough sci-fi to know technology can become unspeakably evil. 

Let’s see: I can let my phone control my lights, heating, power and bank account. Yeah, nothing can go wrong with that. 

Advances in technology (i.e., ways to make us lazier) move shockingly fast. When Isaac Asimov laid out the rules for robots (they can’t kill us, they have to obey, etc. — kind of like the rules we give teenagers), I don’t remember the robots ever actually signing anything promising to abide by those rules. We just assume our machines won’t kill us in our sleep. (Kind of like teenagers.)

Now, your fridge has all kinds of power. It notices you’re out of milk and alerts a farmhand in Nebraska who gets jolted out of bed with an electric shock so he can milk a cow and send a drone to drop a gallon of milk on your porch.

Your toilet can analyze urine and tell the fridge to add minerals (or rat poison) to your drinking water. The next step will be a toilet that realizes you’re pregnant and immediately posts your happy news to social media sites. 

There are security cameras you can access through your phone to spy on your kids, spouse, pets and neighbors. 

At what point do these “conveniences” become intrusive? Will toothbrushes sneak a DNA sample and send it to the FBI? Can hit men track you through your cell phone with voice-recognition apps? Could your phone run your fingerprints when you pick it up? Conspiracy theorists’ heads will explode with all the frightening possibilities. 

And if you think dealing with moody humans is bad, try putting up with passive-aggressive appliances. You’ll hurt your toaster’s feelings when it overhears you say what a good job the microwave did heating up your meatloaf, and suddenly your toaster will barely warm the bread. Your refrigerator will dispense water e-v-e-r s-o s-l-o-w-l-y after watching you use filtered tap water one too many times. 

If scientists want to be helpful, they can create a washer that stops automatically when it senses a dry-clean-only shirt, or notifies you if your bra gets tangled around a blouse like a boa constrictor squeezing the life out of a wild boar.

They could design a smoke alarm that won’t beep at 3 a.m., scaring the dog to death and prompting him to sleep in my closet for two days. They could create a vegetable crisper that would send rotten broccoli to a neighborhood compost pile. Or how about a bathroom scale that locks your kitchen pantry when you overeat on the weekends?

Currently, there is nothing “smart” about my home (including the residents). But I predict someday soon, my nightmares won’t be about circus clowns or spiders; they’ll be about microwaves gone amuck, or hair dryers that finally figure out how to finish me off.



  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Music for a Festival

    03/28/2017
    07:30AM

    The Salt Lake Symphonic Winds join the Herriman High School Wind Symphony as honored guests in a ...


  • WJHS Football Fundraiser Top Golf

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Fundraiser to raise money for West Jordan Football Team. Come out and show your support for our ...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Salt Lake City Gem Faire

    03/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    March 24-26, 2017, South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., Sandy. Fri. 10am-6pm, Sat. 1...


  • Music for a Festival

    03/28/2017
    07:30AM

    The Salt Lake Symphonic Winds join the Herriman High School Wind Symphony as honored guests in a ...


  • WJHS Football Fundraiser Top Golf

    03/28/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Fundraiser to raise money for West Jordan Football Team. Come out and show your support for our ...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    04/02/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • West Jordan Dance Company Concert

    04/03/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    The West Jordan's Dance Company is happy to present their spring concert, "From Past to Present" ...


  • West Jordan Dance Company Concert

    04/04/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    The West Jordan's Dance Company is happy to present their spring concert, "From Past to Present" ...


  • West Jordan Dance Company Concert

    04/05/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    The West Jordan's Dance Company is happy to present their spring concert, "From Past to Present" ...


  • April in Paris

    04/08/2017
    05:00PM — 06:30PM

    The American West Chamber Singers is excited to present their Spring Concert entitled April in Pa...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    04/09/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    04/16/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


 

 

Online Edition
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974