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Batman Doesn't Need A Butler: Alfred Vs. Home Automation

Bruce Wayne is a billionaire genius who spends his days running one of the most powerful companies in the world, and his nights dressed up like a giant bat while beating up criminals with the help of the most advance gadgets money can buy. So why is it that when Batman comes home after a long night of chasing the Riddler through abandoned warehouses, he’s greeted by an old man in a tuxedo? Sure, Alfred may be a family friend and Bruce’s surrogate father, but when it comes to the demands of keeping Stately Wayne Manor (not to mention the Bat Cave) clean and functional, he’s just not up to the task. He’s only one man, after all, and he’s no spring chicken at that. No, what Batman really needs is a fully automated modern smart home. Here’s why:

1. Convenience

When you spend your nights fighting the dregs of society, you don’t want to have to come home and fight your house as well. Home automation systems makes it easy to sit back and enjoy your time away from work, whether that work be in the boardroom at Wayne Enterprises, or in the shadows of Crime Alley. A fully automated home is one that can be controlled directly from a mobile smart device. So rather than having Alfred move from room to room to crank up the temperature the next time Mr. Freeze decides to blanket Gotham city in unforgiving winter, Bruce can just hit a few buttons on his mobile device and enjoy the heat as his smart thermostat takes care of everything. Likewise, lighting, entertainment, appliances, and every other system in the home could be easily accessed and controlled. Leaving Bruce with more time for brooding. Sadly, Alfred just can’t be in enough places at once to be able to compete.

2. Efficiency

Batman may be driven by a desire for vengeance and the unquenchable pain of personal loss, but when you get down to it he’s a pretty altruistic guy. Which is why it’s so baffling that a man who has saved the world any number of times, lives in a 42,500 square foot mansion that produces a large enough carbon footprint to make Al Gore’s home look like a hippie commune. There’s more than one way to be a villain, after all, and when you’re wasting that much energy for no particular reason, you certainly aren’t being a hero. Batman could conceivably rely on poor old Alfred to move from room to room, adjusting the temperature and turning off lights, but come on. The guy’s getting old. Running up and down stairs probably isn’t doing his knees any good. A fully automated home would cut back on energy use in ways that Alfred just wouldn’t be able to manage, such as through the use of the aforementioned smart thermostat, as well as occupancy sensing lighting, electricity reducing smart power strips, and even clean energy producing solar paneling (because when you’ve got a secret super computer and forensics lab hidden under the home, it’s probably a good idea to keep it off the grid).

3. Security

Bruce Wayne is one of the richest men in the world, and as Batman, he’s also one of the most likely to be attacked. So, what kind of security does Wayne Manor have? Well, it has a gate, some door locks, and an octogenarian butler. That just doesn’t seem like enough, does it? If the Joker were to figure out Batman’s secret identity, I doubt that Alfred could do much to keep him out. On the other hand, a smarthome with integrated automated security systems could send the entire home into lockdown at the push of a button. Door locks, motion sensors, computer alarms, cameras, and even glass break detectors on all of the windows would all work together to keep the Dark Knight’s property safe from villains, super or otherwise.

4. Cost

Bruce Wayne may be worth a few billion dollars, but if he’s not careful with his money, he could just as easily watch it slip away. Being Batman, after all, comes with some major expenses all its own. So, if he want’s to keep living a successful double life, Bruce has to learn to cut costs wherever he can. The average butler makes about $50,000–100,000, with benefits, and it’s probably a fair bet that Alfred is making just a little more (Bruce wouldn’t want him blabbing about any bat-secrets, after all). Well, that’s all money that could be saved, if Bruce were to simply automate his home and forget about keeping a manservant. In fact, the average automated home is actually much more cost effective than an unautomated one, thanks to the energy-saving features mentioned above, so even if Bruce decides to keep Alfred around at his current pay, he’ll still be saving money.
So when Batman charges into the night to protect the people of Gotham, he can do so content in the knowledge that his home is likewise in the good hands of home automation. And as an added bonus, Alfred will be able to take a long-deserved break.

David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He occasionally freelance writes about home security and DIY home repair. He’s also knowledgeable about topics like how to improve social presence and building a reputation online.