Anthony Almond and his Smart House

By: Niki Fritz

Ever since Anthony Almond was a little boy, he dreamed of one day being a real robot; like Pinocchio, but in reverse, and way cooler than a wooden puppet. This month he got a little closer to his dream when he not only got a Google watch to make him part bionic man, but also linked that watch to his house, making it an official smart house.

It all started when Anthony got a new phone over break. For the past year, Anthony has been living with a screen-shattered iPhone 5, which was not fitting for a tech star like Anthony. Finally, over break, Anthony was able to upgrade in a big way to a giant-screened Android phone. With his fancy new phone he decided to treat himself to the Google watch, a gadget he’s been eyeing for a while. And then came the tech-pimping of the house.

Anthony's multi-colored lights

Anthony’s multi-colored lights

Since Anthony’s roommate tends to leave the thermostat set at 74 when he leaves for work, Anthony wanted to be able to turn down the temperature of the apartment when he was at school to save on the electricity bills. So Anthony ripped out the old thermostat (well he was a little gentler and more precise) and reconnected his house to a new fancy wi-fi thermostat. Now Anthony can turn the heat up and down from his phone or his watch while he is in classes. But what really makes this a smart house is that the GPS in Anthony’s phone tells his house when he is close to home and automatically turns the heat back up.

What Anthony is really excited about though are his mutli-colored tech-saavy lights, which cost him a pretty penny. From his phone, Anthony can change the color of his living room lights from blue to red to orange and a whole host of fun combinations as well. If he knows his roommate is home, he sometimes likes to change the color just to see if he notices.

But the best part of the entire house is that the lights turn to the color “purple rain” when it is raining outside. Anthony has an app on his phone called “if this then that.” He set a recipe that notes: if it is raining then turn the lights to purple rain. Not only is Anthony part robot, he is also super hip.

purple rain

One might be asking, “How does a grad student afford all of this glam?!” One look into Anthony’s cupboards answers that.

“I only eat Campbell’s soup and drink Sutter House wine from Walmart so I can afford my smart house,” Anthony explained half-jokingly. He also notes he really does just like Campbell’s tomato soup.

Anthony even mounted his iPad to the kitchen wall! Now he can control the music in the living room from the kitchen.

Anthony even mounted his iPad to the kitchen wall! Now he can control the music in the living room from the kitchen.

Anthony has grown quite attached to this new smart house, so much so that he has named her (and yes the house is a her). The smart house is named Katie after the name of the actress who played a talking house in an apparently famous Disney show. If you ever are lucky enough to visit the smart house, just remember to address the house properly.

For now Anthony has limitations on his smart house project. Since he is renting, the landlords aren’t thrilled with the idea of Anthony ripping out the locks and putting in smart locks. The half-bot does want to extend the smartness of his life to his car though. There are devices that plug into your car port and tell you how to drive smarter. That is next on Anthony’s to-do-tech list.

“I want everything to be smart in my life,” Anthony says. “I’ve always wanted the best home I can, the most convenient home. I think I’m getting close.”

I guess for some little boys dreams really do come true.

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