IoT ruins movies: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The 20th anniversary of the release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is upon us. OK, OK, I know Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a TV series and not a movie (unless you count the 1992 comedy-horror film), but I love it, it’s my thing, let it go.
If you were a teenager in the noughties or late nineties, chances are you’ll be familiar with the zippy cartwheels and punning prowess of a certain Miss Summers and her loyal ‘Scooby gang’ sidekicks.
Armed with stake, crossbow and holy water, Buffy fights the forces of evil – vampires, ghouls, giant snakes, zombies and every other foul, murderous thing you can thank your lucky stars are confined to the fictional berg of Sunnydale, California.
Ah, sweet nostalgia. What a show. And I’m here to ruin it for you.
So what would have happened if IoT had been a thing in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer era? Let’s find out.
Lesson one: Pimp yo weapons chest
The stake is pretty much the weapon of choice for any self-respecting vampire slayer. It’s a classic of vampire lore from Dracula onwards – a swift blow to the heart, and you’re done. No muss, no fuss.
So let’s give the stake an updated, IoT twist. What if as well as dusting the vamps, it could give feedback about slaying style to help in battle? A stake that carries sensors to determine speed of impact and angle of penetration, for example, could collate and analyse data during fights, which Buffy could access from a device in the safety of the high school library, or via mobile phone. It’s both weapon and training tool. Pretty nifty.
Lesson two: Track ‘em down
Creatures of the night are generally stealthy, and you can bet that the one-that-got-away will be back. Enter the vampire tracker. Picture the scene – vampire number one is dusted, but number two is getting away. A tracker dart fired from a distance and using M2M and GPS technology would use a variety of sensors to track his exact location. You could even monitor speed of travel, damage suffered or use video imaging to make sure this one won’t take you by surprise.
Lesson three: Info while you work
Connected devices that share data via an app on a smart phone or computer are great for leisurely perusal. But what about in the middle of a fight? Say our tracked vamp from the previous example is about to make an appearance, but Buffy’s busy battling his friend? She’s hardly got time to find out what that persistent beeping from her mobile is all about. Wouldn’t it be great to get a warning without having to look downwards at a hand-held device? Wonder no more, my friends. Such a gizmo exists already.
In preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games, U.S. track cyclists have been using smart glasses which display performance metrics in a corner of the glass while still enabling them to see the road. The ‘Solo’ glasses, developed by Kopin Corporation, collect data from self-tracking devices such as heart rate monitors, and also from the bike’s sensors, which cyclists can see in real-time without taking their eyes off the road. The glasses are aerodynamically designed for optimum performance and comfort while riding.
Let’s take it a step further and give our slayer connected night-vision glasses. Now she can see better in the dark, and have access to urgent information without taking her eyes off her assailant. In our vampire tracking scenario for example, data from the tracker could be sent to the smart glasses to warn Buffy if her bumpy-headed foe were getting too close.
Lesson four: Prevention is better than cure – don’t invite them in
Vampires are canny critters and can look just like humans when they need to. But there are some giveaways. First: they can’t enter your home unless invited in. Second: they cast no reflection. Third: no breath or heartbeat. Fourth: They’re a lot colder than humans.
In Season 1, vamp chick Darla disguises herself as a school friend of Buffy’s to gain entry to her house and attack her mother. A recognition system would have been great here. Imagine a smart door-bell, which takes the caller’s temperature via their finger when they press the button and compares it to the air outside. Adjusting for those whose fingers are always a bit chilly, let’s say that if the caller’s temperature is significantly below 98.6F, a ‘do not allow in’ alert would pop up on a display panel inside the house. Bingo, crisis averted. You could even combine this with facial recognition software for something extra fool-proof.
So there you have it: IoT-assisted vamp protection in a nutshell.
Let us know your suggestions in the comments below!