By Sarah June FischerDecember 10, 2015

7 Everyday Tasks Brought to You By Code

Long before the Internet of Things began exploring a computerized world with app-controlled home thermostats, lights, and security, computers changed the way we live. Did you know that these 7 everyday tasks are only possible because of computer code?

1. Taking a Hot Shower

That refreshing shower you enjoyed this morning was likely brought to you by a water heater that is temperature-controlled by a preset microprocessor that monitors output temperature and water flow.

2. Driving to Work

Outside of the whole internal computer that modern cars rely on, code has another role in getting you to work on time. Traffic lights direct cars and pedestrians with an internal microprocessor. Sometimes traffic lights are on a timer, while those in busier intersections have an internal computer linked to the crosswalk button, sensors that signal when cars are waiting, and surrounding traffic lights.

3. Riding the Elevator

Without containing a mini computer, modern elevators wouldn’t have automatic doors, sense if something or someone is blocking the door, or take you to the proper floor based on which buttons are pressed. They also wouldn’t have replaced the majority of elevator attendants and their sweet uniforms, which was the only downside to tech-savvy lifts.

4. Making a Salad

The cucumber, tomatoes, and bell peppers in your out-of-season spinach salad were likely all grown in a computerized temperature-controlled greenhouse. Some companies are even experimenting with completely indoor “plant factories.”

5. Vacuuming

Modern tufted carpeting is factory-made, where computers control the floor covering’s thickness, length, and pattern. Lines of code control the entire creation process, from forming the backing to shearing the finished product.

6. Doing Laundry

Computers continue to make household chores easier. While not everyone needs—or even wants—a tweeting refrigerator, the computer-powered washing machine is saving time and energy. The computer “brain” of modern washing machines is programmed to monitor load weight, adjust water allotment accordingly, and set the required speed depending on the stage of the cycle. Now if only we could program dryers to fold fitted sheets.

7. Writing Love Letters (or To-Do Lists)

The process of taking specially-grown tree crops and turning them into notepads and stationary involves many steps, several of which include sensors and factory machines that are monitored and run by computers. So basically, paper is being created by the thing that is leading to less need for paper. Ironic.

How else do computers and the code that powers them affect your daily life? Let us know!