The challenge of being a futurist pioneer is being Patient Zero for the future’s headaches.
In 2009, Raul Rojas, a computer science professor at the Free University of Berlin (and a robot soccer team coach), built one of Germany’s first “smart homes.” Everything in the house was connected to the Internet so that lights, music, television, heating and cooling could all be turned on and off from afar. Even the stove, oven, and microwave could be turned off with Rojas’s computer, which prevented some potential panic attacks about leaving an appliance on after exiting the house. One of the few things not connected in the house were the locks. Automated locks Rojas bought in 2009 are still sitting in a drawer waiting to be installed. “I was afraid of not being able to open the doors,” Rojas said in a phone interview.
When Rojas let local media tour the home after it was first built, they were wowed by the…
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