Everyday Items That Depend on Code

The technology around us has become so engrained in our daily lives, that we may not even realize it’s there. You’re likely to interact with hundreds of thousands of lines of code by the time you wake up, get ready for work, and make it to your desk an hour later. The very second you open your laptop to start your day that number begins to multiply at a rapid pace. The invisible code around us that silently runs in the background of our daily lives can be found in obvious places such as your cellphone or smart watch. But because technology has evolved into the current state it is, that silent code may be found in places you may have not immediately realized. In this blog post, we discuss a few everyday items you likely interact with that depends on the programming behind it.

Four Everyday Items That Surprisingly Use Code

1. Stoplights

If you are currently a developer, then this one may not be the most shocking on this list. Often times programming a mockup traffic light is a common introduction to the world of coding for many beginner developers wanting to dabble.

Stoplights are carefully programmed to run on a controller that switches between the traffic light cycles based on the specific inputs for that road. These cycles can be adjusted based on which direction has more traffic, pedestrian walkway triggers, time of day, and even the day of the week. This information is all gathered by data beforehand or is an overtime adjustment and is programmed into the specific traffic stop to stay up-to-date with the area’s road trends. This is exactly why some red light stops feel like they last an eternity while others are only a minute wait. Next time you come to a stoplight, examine your surroundings. You’ll likely be able to figure out very quickly why the length of your wait matches with the street you are on.

2. Washing Machines

Digital panels on washing machines have become an industry standard over the last few decades. But behind those bright flashing lights is where the true technology comes into play. Behind the scenes, the microprocessor in washing machines is the core brain that results in your clean clothes. Whenever you select your needed cycle options, the microprocessor instantly goes to work. Making sure that the wash pre-settings, water temperature, and cycle time all match your current laundry load needs. It only takes you a few minutes to get the cycle started. But in the background, the washing machine’s microprocessor is hard at work during the entire time to make sure your washing machine does exactly what you expect it to do.

With the introduction to smart washers, even more code can be found inside your laundry room than before. You are now able to use phone applications to program and schedule cycles even if you are hundreds of miles away. Along with that, smart washing machines allow for easy home maintenance. With your connected device, you are able to run tests and get quick suggestions. Making it more convenient than ever before to maintain the lifecycle of your laundry machines.

3. Coffee Maker

Similar to a washing machine, you are able to purchase modern updated coffee machines with smart features. Having the capability to do all your coffee making directly from your phone screen. But just like the washing machine, the exciting technology is running in the background.

Once you’ve selected your settings and ready for your morning brew, the coffee maker jumps into action to quickly assist in jumpstarting your day. The small machine begins running through each step of the process like a checklist. Turning your normal water into a delicious steaming mug of java.

Coding is important inside the small coffee maker because it runs the sensors. The sensors have the main role of making sure there is no overheating. Keeping a strict internal guideline to control automatic switch-offs whenever temperatures reach a certain point. This code makes sure your machine stays intact and your coffee comes out exactly as you like it – Hot! But not on literal fire. 

4. Cash Registers

It wasn’t very long ago that cash registers were large heavy machines with noisy clunky buttons. Today, you are much more likely to see the evolved version of that in stores. Still a bit noisy and heavy at times, but is able to do much more than it once could.

Today, cash registers are usually directly connected to store point-of-sale systems and software. This allows for an up-to-date inventory count on every item in the store instantly. For larger companies, this also allows for updates to be pushed automatically to the online inventory so customers can shop with a peace of mind on the internet without running into out-of-stock surprises.

In addition, these updated cash registers have software that can quickly do price checks, item returns, and inventory checks. The days of only being able to simply hold money and processing purchases are long gone.

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