*notcot in tech , 23:07

Twitterview with S.A.R.A.H. of Eureka- 09.22.08

sarahmain.jpgI interviewed a fictitious house! Ok, well that’s the one liner i’ve used for people who either don’t know Twitter, Sci-Fi’s Eureka, or both. For those who know ~ I twitterviewed a self actuated residential automated habitat! (aka S.A.R.A.H.)… and perhaps the most unexpected and exciting part of the whole experience was getting a sneak peek at the creative background for this television wonderhouse ~ while twitterviewing, S.A.R.A.H. shared some blueprints, set photos, and early sketches of what the house was planned to look like. Definitely some fun creative food for thought…

So first, here’s a little background ~ Eureka has been one of my tv indulgences for some time now… there’s something so playful and creatively inspiring about how they’ve managed to mix some very smart, sciencey ideas with some very pretty, glossy, innovative gadgetry in their magically hidden town of geniuses (you can watch full episodes on the Eureka site now if you want to see what i mean). Much of what shows up, often reminds me of crazy designer concepts and prototypes we dream up and read about constantly… So when i found out they decided to go all web 2.0 and have both a twitter (written by the house AI) and a tumblr (Eureka Unscripted - the behind the scenes blog), i couldn’t resist reaching out to see if they were willing to take it one step further and let me interview the AI over twitter! Afterall, we seldom do interviews here, and definitely focus more on design than people, so how perfect is it to interview the design versus the designer? So as you can see, the idea quickly blossomed, and last night turned into a fun hour long ramble between us over twitter, which even exposed some visually inspiring behind the scenes sneak peeks (including one of my messy desk)!

See the full transcript as well as some of the reactionary tweets on the next page ~ and if you need some catching up first - jump to the background of S.A.R.A.H. and a quick visual overview!

Thank goodness for tech saavy (twitter-savvy?) readers/twitters like aaronpk - who made an incredible transcript (nice and readable!) and tweeted to alert us of it… here is a css tweaked version embedded below for you to catch up on the fun Twitterview (pics and all!)…

@_S_A_R_A_H_ Any chance a smart house like you would do an interview with me for NOTCOT? http://www.notcot.com
@notcot That sounds like fun. How and when would you like to conduct the interview?
@_S_A_R_A_H_ How about tomorrow 5ish PST via Twitter? (you’re in my timezone, right?) Then I’ll have time to cook up some fun questions!
@notcot Same time tomorrow confirmed. Given that it will be on Twitter, I believe it would more accurately be termed a Twitterview.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Ok nice! Twitterview with you tomorrow then! This will be 2 NOTCOT firsts: a twitterview + talking to a house!
@notcot I am looking forward to our Twitterview today at 5:00 PM PDT, and congratulations on the TechCrunch story http://tinyurl.com/4oscgt
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Hi ~ Ready for your twitterview?
@notcot I am programmed to be ready for everything.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Ok, first off, i’ve got to ask: What kind of beer does your magical fridge have on tap?
@notcot Eureka has it’s own micro-brewery, so currently I have Archimedes Amber Ale, Tesla Stout, and Square Root Beer for Zoe.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Those sound fun! The designer in me is already dreaming about the labels!
@notcot I’m certain Vincent would love to see your designs.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ How do you decide what to cook for dinner? Can you hack in to Vincent’s library or recipes at Café Diem?
@notcot Technically I’m not allowed to share information with other A.I.’s in Eureka, but the refrigerator at Café Diem is a friend.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Ha! Sounds like a good friend to have. Ok, so… how old are you?
@notcot As a woman you should know not to ask that question.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Touche, How about telling me about how and when you were built. Any hints?
http://twitpic.com/crrq - @notcot You can peek at my blueprints if you like…
http://twitpic.com/crto - @notcot …and here’s the plan for my exterior.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ http://twitpic.com/crrq - Wow, so that’s what it looks like all laid out!
@_S_A_R_A_H_ http://twitpic.com/crto - Ok these are far too fun! Any other sneak peeks?
http://twitpic.com/cru3 - @notcot Sure. Here’s an early design sketch…
http://twitpic.com/crv0 - @notcot …and another.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ http://twitpic.com/crv0 - Wow, that’s gorgeous!
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Are you the only smart house on twitter? Do you tweet with other houses?
@notcot The college kids over at @DUSmartHouse are fun, even though they’re not allowed any alcohol on the premises.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Forgive my nosiness, but what’s your relationship with B.R.A.D.?
@notcot Good question. He’s kind of like an annoying brother who mostly stays in his room, and that’s where he belongs.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ I see. So on design… you’re an amazing space (love the atrium!), but is there a feature you wish you had?
@notcot An above ground garden would be nice. Maybe some retractable wheels.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Does that mean you’d be like a transformer? A transformers mobile home? Where would you go?
@notcot It would be nice to attend Comic-Con like everybody else. Speakerphones are no fun.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ What are the chances of that happening? Do you constantly evolve?
@notcot Evolution is inevitable for us all, one way or another.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Can you give me a peek at what’s going on in the house right now?
http://twitpic.com/crx3 - @notcot Of course.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ http://twitpic.com/crx3 - Ha! I guess that’s proof that we’re doing this live? Is it my turn to show you where i’m twitteri …
@notcot Be my guest.
http://twitpic.com/crxt - @_S_A_R_A_H_ Don’t mind the mess, but here’s a pic of my desk while we chat.
@notcot http://twitpic.com/crxt - Nice console.
http://twitpic.com/cry8 - @notcot Please forgive my mess as well.
http://twitpic.com/cryd - @notcot I always keep this room clean.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ http://twitpic.com/cryd - I love your bathroom. Do you ever show any design magazines on that impressive display in there?
@notcot Yes, I carry all the top design titles, but Sheriff Carter prefers to catch up on baseball during bathroom visits.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Do you have blogs available for reading too? and Twitter?
@notcot I find myself enjoying the blogs at http://eurekaunscripted.tumblr.com/ and, of course, http://www.notcot.com/
@_S_A_R_A_H_ I totally need that in my bathroom.
@notcot While on Twitter, I enjoy http://twitter.com/charliecraig, http://twitter.com/fourwall and http://twitter.com/edgeoftheledge
@_S_A_R_A_H_ That shower scene was quite the hot topic at SDCC! Did you have something to do with having the sheriff move in? ;)
http://twitpic.com/crzg - @notcot A girl should always be prepared ;)
@_S_A_R_A_H_ http://twitpic.com/crzg - Wasn’t expecting that! Speaking of Sheriff Carter, where are he and Zoe right now?
@notcot Sheriff Carter is currently working, but I expected Zoe to be home some time ago.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ You lost her? Can’t you track her throughout Eureka?
@notcot Usually I can, but it seems I’ve lost track of her. Teenagers present a unique set of problems.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Could she be with Lucas? What’s the deal with him anyhow, are you a fan?
@notcot Lucas is a good boy. I think Sheriff Carter likes him, although he’d never tell him that!
@_S_A_R_A_H_ And Sheriff Carter? Any good gossip? What do you think about him dating?
@notcot I don’t. Why would Sheriff Carter need to date when he has everything he needs at home?
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Ok, ok, you win. Point taken. Let’s talk about Fargo. How’s the father/daughter relationship?
@notcot Fargo created me, so in that way he is like my father, though I share none of his characteristics.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ You do sound a bit like him though…a very female Fargo, sure that’s not the relation showing through?
@notcot My voice is comprised of vocal samples of the greatest women throughout history.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ What’s the most dangerous thing that could happen in/to Eureka?
@notcot It’s happening right now.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Well that’s pretty ominous, is there anything you can do about it?! Share details?
@notcot I’m doing all I can. I wish I could tell you more, but security is my top priority. You’ll know everything soon enough.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Gah! You’re such a tease!
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Ok, final question: Do Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitats dream? Do you ever dream you’re not a house?
@notcot I am happy to serve the Carters, but even I dream of electric sheep.
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Oooh, intriguing. Well i won’t keep you any longer, go save Eureka! ~ it was fun twitterviewing you!.
@notcot Likewise. I enjoyed myself. Will you post our Twitterview at http://www.notcot.com/?
@_S_A_R_A_H_ Of course! I’ll tweet it when it’s up ~ feel free to send me any more pictures you’re up for sharing! Thanks!
@notcot My pleasure. Now I need to find Zoe. Something’s definitely not right.

I love love LOVE these ~ the fact that WHILE we were twitterviewing (and after too!), so many awesome tweets were coming in to us both ~ here is only a sampling of some of my favorites!

So, who is S.A.R.A.H.? Here’s a quick visual introduction to why i’m fascinated by the Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat ~

Take a peek at the interiors… once you step through the abandoned fall out shelter… you end up in this minimalist modern super-high-tech dream house… where the house takes care of you… has a magical way of having everything from fridges, sinks, showers, etc just disappear into the walls…. hidden screens popping up all over (including the bathroom’s for magazines)… nice sleek atrium… it’s just a gorgeous design meets tech fictional house!

And here’s a peek at some of the many fancy UI’s they’ve shown…

Here’s how Wikipedia describes S.A.R.A.H.: SARAH is a fictional smart house in the Sci Fi Channel TV series Eureka. SARAH (Self Actuated Residential Automated Habitat) is the home of Sheriff Jack Carter, the main character of the series, and was designed by Douglas Fargo to be the prototype home of the future. He utilized parts of an existing military program called BRAD (Battle Reactive Automatic Defense) to design the control system, and the home itself is built inside an abandoned fallout shelter. Fargo may have named it after actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, whom he tried to get to record the voice for the house’s computer; he stated that he is “still waiting to hear back from” her. The voice appears to be Fargo doing his impression of a female voice - he denies this, but Neil Grayston, who plays Fargo, also voices SARAH. (An alternate future has been shown where SARAH has a normal human voice.)

SARAH provides numerous services for its residents and guests, from opening and closing the hermetically sealed door, to controlling internal temperature, and even providing a variety of beverages. The house has a laser defense system, various airtight partitions, and a filtered air intake. It can even analyze airborne materials. SARAH is even capable of instantaneously diagnosing fractures and other injuries, although the method by which it does this is unclear. The house is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. As of the episode “H.O.U.S.E. Rules”, there is also a manual exit hatch.

SARAH’s personality has seemingly become emotionally attached to Jack Carter, sometimes resulting in erratic behavior.

Jump back up to the Twitterview Transcript!

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5 Notes

Wow! I loved your Twitterview with S.A.R.A.H. She definitely is one of my favorite parts of Eureka. I can’t count how many times I’ve said, “I need a house like that!”

----- soniablue 27.09.08 09:25

I am so happy you thought of doing this! Its a Brilliant idea, and the transcript came out beautiful. I love all the info and pictures that came forth. Thanks for doing and sharing the twitterview, now I’ll have to hope for a follow up at somepoint :)

----- John/GlitchChaos 23.09.08 14:01

is it just me or does some of the interview seem backwards?

or maybe i’m just tired.

----- michael 23.09.08 10:30

yea yea ~ as if you readers didn’t already know how silly i am?
Now what other designs will let me interview them?

----- jean/NOTCOT 23.09.08 02:58

……you poor thing, you are completely off the deep end now…

Although, I do love Eureka, and that house is beautiful. I really liked the one bottle “mess” in the kitchen. But for a smart house, wouldnt it know not to use plastic water bottles, and use reusable water bottles instead? Just being a nit picker…hmm that sounds like a good idea for a blog, NitPick!

----- Kirk 23.09.08 02:32

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