The robots are coming. But they aren’t barreling along in the form we envisioned them in our science-fiction fantasies. They’re making their appearances in a far subtler form, in the shape of intelligent, sentient, Wi-Fi-enabled, utilitarian products.
Gadgets that have, so far, been static will now, glow, sing, vibrate, and change position at the drop of a hat.
They won’t require you to press a sequence of buttons to make things happen, but they will work alongside you in unobtrusive ways, responding to caresses, waves, or verbal commands. Some might just sit back and observe you to understand what you need.
A taste of the future:
A lamp that bends to follow the items you reposition on a desk. A fork that vibrates, offering feedback when you eat too fast. Washing machines will text or call you when your laundry is done.
A medicine bottle might open its lid to offer you a precise dose or automatically call your pharmacist when it’s empty.
A raincoat might glow or whistle when it knows you’ll need it on your commute. A webcam already raise their heads to let you know when someone is ready on the other side of a conversation.
As products become smarter, their behaviors will mean they essentially have continuing conversations with us, whether they include verbal exchanges or not.