What my dream home would be like…

In thinking about what kinda design I’d like my dream home to have, I’ll start by saying that money isn’t an issue here. I’m just writing this post for fun and not-so-secretly hoping that someone who could actually make this happen reads this blog post. I know that’s a longshot, though. But at the same time, I do also know that there are people in the world who want to help people meet their needs…so one of them could be pointed to this post of mine.
But anyway, given that money isn’t an issue here, I’d like to have a small one-bedroom house all to myself. I’d love for my house’s entryway to have a stair-free flat-ground into and out of the house. I wouldn’t mind if at most, there is a small lip in the threshold of the doorway that my wheelchair could easily move on or off of. And then, as folks who are sighted walk into my house, they’d see a huge picture kinda high up on the wall of a train. This picture would take up a lot of wall space. But below that picture though, folks would see a huge picture of a horse. This picture too, would take up a lot of wall space. And then right as folks would turn the corner that goes into the living room area, they’d see a medium-sized waterfall. And in case this is unclear to anyone, trains, horses and waterfalls are three things that I’ve always loved.

In my living room area, there would be no pictures on any of the walls, as I’d want folks who visit me to fully absorb the audio sounds within this room…and allow themselves to totally relax and enjoy these experiences. But I do envision having a BlueTooth surround sound system, like the ones that movie theaters have. But my surround sound system would be different, in that I’d also want said system to be voice-activated for literally everything from its setup, to resetting itself if need be, to adding new BlueTooth devices to it. This surround sound system would have the capability to have an unlimited number of BlueTooth devices connected to it at any time. This amazing system would have its own built-in virtual assistant named Farty McFaddin, similar to, but better than Alexa or Siri combined. One thing that imaginary Farty McFaddin would be able to do that neither Alexa or Siri currently does, is that it would tell me how much battery is left on whichever of my BlueTooth devices I want to check the status of at any given time. This system would also make a sound that would let me know when any of my connected devices are about to die. These settings could be brought up by me saying “Alexa, Siri or Farty McFaddin, open my customizable settings.” And any of those virtual assistants would be able to walk me through changing whichever settings that I want to change. In addition, this system would have a charging dock on it for my phone; and it would make a different sound to let me know when the device finishes charging. But also, Farty McFaddin could call a service like Life Alert, if I ever fell down or somehow got seriously hurt at home…and I needed immediate medical attention or the police’s help.

So for example, I could say “Farty McFaddin, call for help.” And from that point, my virtual assistant could ask me “would you like to call from this particular BlueTooth device that you are currently using, or from your phone?” Then using only my voice, I could speak aloud which device I wanted it to use. But also, if I was in a situation where I needed to call for help because someone was actively hurting me, I could say “Farty McFaddin, buy me a cookie” or some other random phrase. And Farty McFaddin would know that that particular phrase is code for “get me help but do it silently,” as I’m unable to answer any questions right now. And if that were to really happen in this dream house of mine, I’d probably have to deal with the police showing up as well as the paramedics showing up. But I’d rather have too many people arrive than none at all.

I’d also put a bad-ass stereo system in the living room area of my house, as I’m quite an audio nerd. But just as a reminder, this particular room in my house would be designed for folks to unwind and enjoy these experiences. And even though I’m talking about an entirely different system now, the same exact specks that I’ve mentioned above will apply here. However I’ll put all of the specks here again. That way, people can easily get the full context.
So this stereo system of mine would be voice-activated for literally everything from its setup, to resetting itself if need be, to adding new BlueTooth devices to it. This system would have the capability to have an unlimited number of BlueTooth devices connected to it at any time. It would have its own built-in virtual assistant named Farty McFaddin similar to, but better than Alexa or Siri combined. One thing that imaginary Farty McFaddin would be able to do that neither Alexa or Siri currently does, is that it would tell me how much battery is left on whichever of my BlueTooth devices I want to check the status of at any given time. This system would also make a sound to let me know when any connected devices are about to die. These settings could be brought up by me saying “Alexa, Siri or Farty McFaddin, open my customizable settings.” And any of those virtual assistants would be able to walk me through changing whichever settings that I want to change. In addition, this stereo system would have a charging dock on it for my phone; and it would make a different sound to let me know when the device finishes charging. But also, Farty McFaddin could call a service like Life Alert, if I ever fell down or somehow got seriously hurt at home…and I needed immediate medical attention or the police’s help.

I’d also love to have a spacious bathroom that my wheelchair could comfortably fit in and move around in. And also in this spacious bathroom, I’d like to have a walk-in shower with railings all around the shower area, with a foldable seat that’s attached to one of the shower walls. That way, I’d have the freedom to choose when I want to stand up/when I want to sit down. Having a spacious bathroom would also give me plenty of room to take my leg braces off before I shower…and plenty of room to put them back on once I’m out of the shower. In the bathroom, I’d also have a huge BlueTooth speaker. And said speaker would have the same exact specks as the items have that I’ve prreviously mentioned. This BlueTooth speaker of mine would be voice-activated for literally everything from its setup, to resetting itself if need be, to adding new BlueTooth devices to it. This BlueTooth speaker would have the capability to have an unlimited number of BlueTooth devices connected to it at any time. It would have its own built-in virtual assistant similar to, but better than Alexa or Siri combined. One thing that this imaginary virtual assistant would be able to do that neither Alexa or Siri currently does, is that it would tell me how much battery is left on whichever of my BlueTooth devices I want to check the status of at any given time. This BlueTooth speaker would also make a sound to let me know when any connected devices are about to die. These settings could be brought up by me saying “Alexa, Siri or Farty McFaddin, open my customizable settings.” And any of those virtual assistants would be able to walk me through changing whichever settings that I want to change. In addition, this system would have a charging dock on it for my phone; and it would make a different sound to let me know when the device finishes charging. But also, this speaker system could call a service like Life Alert, if I ever fell down or somehow got seriously hurt at home…and I needed immediate medical attention or the police’s help.

In addition to the things that I’ve already mentioned about this imaginary but lovely dream of a house for myself, I’d have accessories throughout the house that are connected via BlueTooth to my Amazon Echo Dot as well as to my phone. These particular accessories would allow me to say “Alexa, turn off the lights in the entire house.” Having the ability to do this would come in handy for me, most especially because whenever I’d have guests over at this imaginary house, most likely those guests would be sighted…and I know that sighted people always turn on all the lights that are available to them. So once sighted folks have left my house, being able to quickly use my voice to make sure that all of the lights are turned off, the windows and blinds are closed and the shades are pulled down for privacy, would truly be awesome.

But something else that these accessories could do for me, would be that they could allow me to control my home thermostat and my home heater, using only my voice. So I could say “Alexa, what is the current temperature in my house?” And Alexa could speak aloud the answer to that question. Or my phone could tell me the answer to that question, by popping up a notification on my phone that VoiceOver would speak aloud to me. Alexa or my phone could then ask me “would you like to change the house’s temperature?” And I could use my voice and say yes or no to that question. And if I do want to change my house’s temperature at any time, after hearing my “yes,” Alexa or my phone could ask what I want to change the temperature to…and then whichever device I was using at the time could change the temperature to whatever I want it to be. But in addition to that, using the home app that Apple has already created, I could control the thermostat and the heater at my house…even if I’m away from home. I could also say “Alexa, make sure that the front door is locked” which would allow me to work smarter rather than harder.

If I ever wanted to cook myself a little something, I could have a robot in my kitchen that would do the physical labor of the cooking process for me, such as transferring things from the stovetop into the oven…and even transferring things from the oven to a flat surface like a counter. There would only be one button on this robot, and this button would be to wake the machine up. There would be a small toggle switch on this robot that would have three settings: it could be pushed all the way to the left, it could be pushed to its middle setting and it could be pushed all the way to the right: its last setting. The setting on the far left could be for kitchen-related things, the middle setting could turn the robot completely off…and when pushed all the way to the right, the robot’s last setting could signify that I want the robot to read print mail aloud to me. But before I go any further, I want to also say that the countertops in my kitchen would be lower than normal. That way, I could comfortably sit in my wheelchair and have the freedom to choose when and how long I want to stand. But also, the stove, the oven, the dishwasher, the microwave and the toaster, would all be voice activated. All of these items would also speak aloud to me though, in terms of walking me through each of their assorted settings and making me aware of what options are available if say, I want to use particular settings on specific devices all of the time. For example, I know that I like my toast to be a bit crunchy; so I’d probably set my toaster’s default settings to ensure that that preference of mine happens by default, unless it’s changed by someone. I also know that when using a microwave, I’d want my microwave to speak aloud its assorted options, as I’m using its touchscreen. So like, the microwave could say “popcorn” to let me know that the button I’ve pressed is the one that pops popcorn. And the same thing would apply to the defrost button: I’d hear my microwave say “defrost” and I’d know that that action is what my microwave is doing right then. But in addition to these things, I’d also have an ice maker and a water filter that could be refilled when needed, by this robot I’ve been talking about.

And just like every other gadget in my house, this robot that I’ve talked about in the above paragraphs, would mostly be voice activated…for everything from setting the machine up, to resetting the device if need be, and letting me know when its battery needs to be recharged. But if this particular technology works as it would work in my mind’s eye, this robot would put itself on its charger every single time it’s finished helping me with whatever it is that I need it to do at any given time. Like, as soon as I’d say “Robot, read the piece of mail that I’m holding,” it would do so easily, having no trouble deciphering the print…even if it was hand-written print that was on the mail. And so, once the robot had read my mail aloud to me, it would ask “is there anything else I can help you with?” And if I answered “no” to that question, the robot would say “OK, I’m going to sleep,” and then move itself right to its charger, until the next time when I’d push its wake-up button.

In my laundry room, I’d have a washer and dryer that are both voice activated…for everything from setting each of the appliances up, to resetting each of the appliances if need be. This washer and dryer combination of mine would automatically have its default setting set to voicing aloud what’s on the screen of each machine. The dryer in particular would monitor the lent holder. A voice would speak aloud when it was time for me to dump the lent holder’s contents into a trash can, saving me from having to bend over and check the lent holder for myself. This washer and dryer combination would have a thermometer on its inside that would tell me if the clothes in each machine were not all the way done, if the clothes were too wet or if either machine wasn’t working as it should be.