How Iron Man is Leading the Way in Home Automation


In 2008, Iron Man kicked off Marvel’s super-successful shared cinematic universe in which all other Marvel “supes” like Thor, Captain America, and the Guardians of the Galaxy live. What’s unique about Iron Man, or Tony Stark rather, is that his genius intellect, tech-savvy, and knowledge of engineering are the basis for his heroism rather than superhuman powers bestowed via radioactive spider bites, genetic enhancements, and epic temper tantrums that could make Lou Ferrigno quiver.

The films show Robert Downey, Jr. playing Tony Stark as he develops an array of impressive gadgetry, and that’s before even stepping foot into his eponymous high-flying, gun-toting, laser-blasting, butt-kicking suit of armor. From the sentient artificial intelligence that automates his entire house to the plethora of interactive holographic touchscreens, Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit isn’t his only advanced technology. Most of us would unleash an army of aliens on New York City to live in a house as smart as Iron Man’s. Via Venture Beat

Here’s how Iron Man is leading the way in home automation and how we can make our homes (almost) as smart as Tony Stark’s.


JARVIS, the Sentient Operating System

In the Iron Man trilogy, Tony Stark speaks to his operating System JARVIS, which stands for “Just A Rather Very Intelligent System”. While our current voice-activated tech requires clear, concise, and straightforward speech, JARVIS is attentive, understands subtle differences in meaning from variation in intonation and context, understands sarcasm, has a British accent, and even cracks jokes while also being the central intelligence of the Stark residence.

We’re not quite to that level of technological and engineering sophistication yet, but we’re getting there. The Wink Relay, a wall-mounted touchscreen hub that serves as a central interface for your home’s automation tech, has a built-in microphone that has led critics and technophiles to speculate that future updates might allow us to control the Wink hub using voice commands like Tony Stark.


Directing an Orchestra of Smart Tech

We may not be able to control our homes with voice commands yet, but it looks like gesture controls are nigh. Much like Tony Stark uses gestures to interface with holographic computer screens and displays, a new technology is offering similar functionality and there’s sure to be plenty more to follow.

Reemo is a band worn on the wrist like a Fitbit or smart watch and while the screens give them the superficial functionality of a smart watch, they’re actually much more. With the special receivers hooked up to your smart home hub, the Reemo wristband will allow you to control your home automation technology by tracking the movements and gestures of your arm. Similar to how Tony Stark looked like he was conducting an orchestra, the Reemo — which begins shipping this summer — makes things like controlling lights, home security, your thermostat, and even your television and entertainment systems as simple as a gesture. It’s surely the beginning of a new frontier and it would appear that Iron Man is leading the way.

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