Monday, May 04, 2015

2458 App-liance

I don't really want the internet of things the tech world is predicting.  That's where all of your household meters, appliances, and products communicate constantly with the web.  The idea of an appliance that talks to the cloud, or an app-liance if you will, is supposedly the next big thing.  

Amazon recently made a move in that direction with little product-specific stick-on buttons you stick to places around your house that automatically communicate with your smartphone when you're out of detergent or toothpaste or milk. 

Not sure the milk stick-on would stick out with all the magnets I currently have on my refrigerator.  They may be high tech, but they're still little buttons with product brandnames on them that bear an astonishing resemblance to refrigerator magnets.  My decor is eclectic already, I'm not sure festooning the entire house with refrigerator magnets would be an improvement.

And really, I don't want my detergent bottle to remind me to buy a new one.  That seems so demeaning and pitiful. Hanging around at the coffee shop, getting a vibration on my smartphone, thinking, "Oh cool, someone is texting me."  Then finding out it's my detergent bottle reminding me I haven't yet made my laundry purchase. 

There's some existential angst.  Talk about feeling friendless and isolated.  I only communicate with a detergent bottle.

It's like the digital message that scrawls across the readout area of my microwave.  "Enjoy your meal," it says.  I've always smirked condescendingly.  "Meal, huh?  It doesn't even know I only zapped a cup of coffee."  The internet of things will change that.  The message will probably read, "Enjoy your coffee, now on sale at Fred Meyer, shall I order right away?"

There's nothing that makes you feel more pathetic and alienated than being nagged by an appliance. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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