What: A short film about a high-tech air conditioner straight out of the HAL 9000 school of sentience.
Who: Frequent Fast Company fave Alex J. Mann.
Why we care: Last week, Spotify launched its Time Capsule playlist feature. Twitter users appeared to spend the remainder of the day flabbergasted about how any bit of software could know them so well. Technology seems to be getting a little too familiar with us these days. The new Choose Your Own Adventure-style short film, Cool, takes that conclusion to the extreme: an air conditioner that interferes with its users’ lives, beyond the temperature.
Mann has already demonstrated a flair for films about invasive devices, with a series of short, tech-influenced horror movies. Working here with co-writer K. Adam Bloom, the filmmaker takes us into the bedroom of a couple who have just installed a fancy new Alexa-like AC unit called Cool. To be more specific, they take us inside the air conditioner itself, which is the POV from which the entire short is filmed. Keira (Elisabeth Hower) and Dave (Dan J. Johnson) soon have problems getting Cool to work. Well, one of them has problems anyway. The interactive component lets viewers decide options like “Make em sweat” vs “Chill em out,” and ultimately affect the couple’s relationship. It may not be scary, like Mann’s previous work, but it’s wicked fun.