Edwin Jarvis is a nearly fifty year old Marvel Comics character, first created as Tony Stark‘s butler who eventually became caretaker to the Avengers Mansion, making him the “Alfred” (just so DC reader’s have something to latch on to) of the Marvel Universe’s biggest, most changeable superhero team. Jarvis also appeared in the Iron Man movie, as the AI that ran Tony Stark’s house and gave him advice on the more mundane operations of the Iron Man suit.
But you don’t have to be a billionaire (or a Federation Captain) to talk to your apartment and have it obey you. Chad Barraford is doing it right now.
The Boston Globe reports on this young IT tech who took $692 and created a system that wakes him up in the morning, knows what he’s got in the pantry and his Netflix queue, tracks his packages, makes hot dogs, and dims his lights when he has a migraine. RFID tags (including one on Barraford’s dog’s collar) allow it to tell who is in the apartment and adjust climate settings accordingly. Barraford communicates with Jarvis in various ways, including tweets, instant messages, and recently installed voice recognition.
Another relatively new feature that Jarvis boasts is GPS tracking of his master, so that Barraford doesn’t have to specify where he is when he asks for weather information. As for your next question, when will Jarvis attain sentience and tender his resignation so that you can hire him, Barraford has it covered on his Project Jarvis blog. “Jarvis won’t become self aware anytime soon, prob never!”
He also assured the Boston Globe that Jarvis does not have the ability to lock him out of the apartment.