The Smart House is a fully automated house controlled by a sophisticated computer AI. Basically, you talk to the house, and tell it what you want, and it does it for you. Turn on the lights, cook breakfast, even draw your bath. Some smart houses will even monitor your vital signs.
The AI often has a human name, and they frequently have feminine personalities and voices.
Because A.I. Is a Crapshoot
, Smart House AIs
have a tendency to go horribly awry. They usually don't become actually evil
, but they can become jealously overprotective of their owners. In some instances, they are shown falling in love with their owners or becoming envious of their owners relationships with other humans. May be subject to Zeerust
depending on the age depicted.
See Cool House
and Genius Loci
, of which this is a subtrope. May overlap with Sapient House
, depending on levels of automation and intelligence
See also Robot Maid
and In the Future, We Still Have Roombas
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- Natalie's house in Home Alone 4.
- Demon Seed features a Smart House that later becomes a Sapient House when an experimental AI hacks in through a remote terminal.
- The 2015 McFly residence in Back to the Future Part II.
- In the recent Iron Man films, Jarvis the butler is changed to JARVIS, the AI that controls Tony's Smart House.
- In the 1984 film Electric Dreams another computer who ran the house grew envious of its owner's relationship with the downstairs hottie, and did mean things to him. This was a comedy, though, so it was nothing too drastic.
- The Disney Channel TV-movie Smart House, in which the owners are locked in by the overprotective AI PAT.
- Ray Bradbury's story "There Will Come Soft Rains" is about a Smart House that continues to carry out its daily routine after its inhabitants are killed in a nuclear war.
- In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel The Also People, the People's houses all work like this. There was a scene in a later book where one of the People was at a wedding reception on Earth, and casually let go of her plate in mid air. When it smashed to the ground she said "Sorry, I forgot you have such dumb houses."
- There is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke about a smart house that murders its owner in a jealous fit after he decides to move to another town (and therefore another house), leading to history's first criminal proceedings against a non-human intelligence. The title? "House Arrest".
- Nara Oxham's AI-house in Succession.
Live Action TV
- Wayne Szalinski turned his house into a Smart House in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids TV series. It eventually decides that in order to protect the Szalinskis, it needs to kill them.
- In the series Eureka, SARAH, the AI that controls Carter's house is stable and helpful, until the brutal military AI that the programmer based her on comes to the surface. Oh, and she's voiced by Fargo, just doing a female voice.
- In one episode of 70s Brit Com Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, the rather 'special' protagonist Frank Spencer (Michael Crawford) is a guest at a house where all of the fixtures and fittings are computer-controlled. In his usual inimitable manner Frank manages to completely wreck the place in half an hour.
- An episode of Almost Human starts with a smart house killing its owners (the wife takes a swim in the pool, which then closes, drowning her; the husband breaks the glass pane door to rescue her only to be killed by the security system perceiving him as an intruder). It's revealed that, a year ago, the security system killed a teenage boy for climbing over the fence (he was taking a shortcut). Apparently, the "military-grade encryption" used by the company that makes the smart house system can be easily broken by a determined hacker. Not only that, but the company is about to release a new version of the house featuring an android version of the avatar Sam instead of a hologram.
- An episode of John Doe has a software billionaire turn his home into one.
- A parody of HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey in a Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode is this. It's the voice of Pierce Brosnan and it falls in love with Marge. Hilarity Ensues.
- Looney Tunes short Design for Leaving has Daffy outfit Elmer's home with automated labor saving devices that are anything but.
- The early Chuck Jones cartoon Dog-Gone Modern features two dogs wandering into a "House of Tomorrow" exhibit and interact with, among other things, a robot cleaner that keeps taking their bone. Later remade as House Hunting Mice, with mice characters Hubie and Bertie.
- Tex Avery's The House of Tomorrow spoofs this trope for all it's worth.
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, the Avenger's Mansion is run by Tony Stark's AI, JARVIS, just like the recent film adaptation.
- Mickey Mouse Short Mickey's Mechanical House
- It's standard for characters in Kevin & Kell to live in tree-houses made from hollowed out trees. Fenton's house "Tree" was hit by an intelligence ray and became sentient, resulting in a non-computer-based smart house.
- It's called the Internet of Things; though that design principle has a broader scope than just making your house smart, it is functionally the same. It is possible today to automate your appliances and let them talk to each other and to a central hub such as your computer, the trick is coming up with a set of software standards so that the toaster you buy can talk to the coffee maker you buy from someone else thus making this affordable for the common consumer.