MindBullets 20 Years


Homeowner dies as home automation system goes haywire

It’s a dream gone horribly wrong. The automated, connected world was supposed to make our lives and our homes better, easier and safer. But now it’s turned into a dreadful nightmare.

Sure, there were plenty of minor glitches with early smart home systems. The vacuum cleaner switching on in the middle of the night. Electronic locks that wouldn’t open. Heating and air-conditioning playing up. Irritating, but hardly lethal.

Until now…

It seems the whole world has watched the morbidly riveting online video of Hugh Findlay’s brand-new, state-of-the-art home protection system going tragically wrong.

For some reason, as yet unknown, the automated guarding system failed to recognize Findlay when he returned home late last night. Mistaking him for an intruder, it fired a stun charge into his chest. It should have just knocked him out, but the system obviously did not know about his heart condition. He was dead by the time police and paramedics arrived.

CyberProGard, the developers of the system, are desperately scrabbling to unravel what went wrong, as their stock plummets. Meanwhile, the victim’s family has filed a billion-dollar lawsuit, and a federal judge has ordered that all CyberProGard security systems be suspended until further notice.

Many homeowners who installed similar systems from other vendors are switching these off too. It’s a major setback for the plethora of new companies offering endless smart home products, many of them in the security field. Perhaps a good, solid fence was all that was needed!

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.