Refrigerators. Remember when common household appliances started getting high tech? Someone thought “whoa, put a microprocessor chip into a fridge and you could have it control temperature and humidity ‘n stuff. Neat!”
And so they did.
The chipsets they used were fairly generic, cheap ones and they discovered along the way that those chips also let you do voice. Audio. They figured they ought to use that somehow, too, so I guess they developed fridges that could talk to you.
I have no idea what sorts of things the refrigerators actually said. But during my afternoon walk I started thinking about the kinds of useful things they COULD say.
“It’s sixty three degrees inside on this beautiful Monday afternoon, and your peaches are at the optimal temperature!”
“Your milk has reached its expiration date. Time to buy more!”
“The kids would like you to know that the spam and bean curd casserole from last week is fuzzy and green. Time to throw it out!”
“I thought you should know, Mrs. Bowman, that Dave has been drinking milk from the carton again. Oh, and he stands with the door open for too long.”
“That’s, what, the fifth slice of cake in the past hour? That does it. Executing cake lock-down sequence five, four, three …”