Most consumer tech rolling off the assembly line today is unadulterated junk, garbage in the worst degree. With the holiday season in full-force, the ramp up of this effluvium is out of hand. Many of the goods that will be stuffed into stockings will go directly from box, to junk-drawer, to landfill. The tech garbage keeps being cranked out without regard to utility or common sense.
But disparity for technology is not the right response. There is plenty of truly useful tech that has the power to change our lives. Already, much of the tech we take for granted is in the category of thing that we can’t imagine living without. Here are some examples of the tech that has made life simpler, and a glimpse into how things will be even better in the near future:
No one is trying to put the public library out of business. It is doubtful that such a thing is even possible. But there are a number of things technology is providing us that was once the sole domain of the local library. The internet has brought the world’s knowledge into our homes.
And thanks to cable WiFi, we don’t have to be tethered to a computer plugged in and operational only at a single location. You can do your research from a tablet while you are sick in bed. Library not required. And it is not just information. We can watch TV and connect with our friends with a high-speed connection to devices as small as smartphones. Thanks to the internet, sending and receiving information will never be the same again. And thanks to WiFi, it has never been easier.
Consumer medical tech not only changes lives; it saves lives. One of the early examples of this life-saving tech is the medical alert bracelets. If an elderly person found themselves in a health crisis, they would have been in real trouble were they by themselves and unable to reach a telephone. The medical alert systems allowed them to wear a device on their wrist they could always reach, and bring emergency services with the press of a button.
The Apple Watch does something very similar today. And it is not marketed as a medical aid device for seniors. It has an SOS feature that can do much the same as medical alerts once set up. The iPhone also has this feature built in. Samsung established a similar feature with the S6.
Finding Your Way
It used to be a real challenge to find your way around an unfamiliar area, or find your way out when you were lost. Getting around used to require a Thomas guide. If you didn’t have one of those, you would have to stop by the nearest service station to pick up a local map. Reading a map was never the easiest thing to do, especially when driving.
Today, it is unusual to walk around without being in Poseidon of a GPS and constantly updated maps. That is because we all carry smartphones. And even the cheapest smartphones have these capabilities. It is actually difficult to get lost these days. Modern devices can give you turn-by-turn directions whether you are driving, walking, biking, or riding a bus. Finding your way has never been easier or safer.
As good as tech is right now, tomorrow’s tech will be even better. Knowledge will be ambient. We will just be able to ask our questions to the air, and the answer will be presented on the nearest display, if not sent directly to the earpiece we happen to be wearing.
Soon, getting help will involve paramedics getting our vitals sent to them wen we call. Our watches, ear pieces, contact lenses, and other monitors will send vital data that will save a lot of lives when seconds matter.
One day soon, finding our way will involve a self-driving car coming to meet us and taking us where we want to be. We will never feel stranded again. The best thing about all this future tech is that it is a lot closer to being reality than you think.