Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Cunning, Design, Technology
For years we’ve heard about the importance of simplicity … intuitiveness … seamlessness …
While it has led to an incredibly improvement in all manner of technology, it has also – to a certain degree – led to an entitlement attitude.
We now live in a society where if you have to actually do something, we see it as a negative.
Get up to turn on the lights?
Are you fucking kidding me!
Have to turn on the music system to hear your favourite music?
You want me to do what!
Look out the window to see what the weather is?
Why are you torturing me!
As I’ve said many times, I appreciate I am a massive hypocrite with all this given I live in a gadget nightmare household.
Wifi lights. Multi-room sound systems. Digital weather stations.
And then there’s the tons of robot dogs, cats and rabbits.
But despite this, I can’t help but say I’m kind of excited by the user unfriendliness movement that has started to show itself.
I’m not talking about tech that has been designed by someone who has no understanding of how humans think and work … I’m talking about people who are actively making products whose goal is to make you work for what you want.
Designer Weng Xingyu has designed a lamp he calls, the Angry Lamp.
It’s a light that, when it detects a room is bright enough to read in – either because of daylight or another lamp that is turned on – turns itself off. In other words, your reading is at the will of Angry Lamp’s interpretation of ‘bright enough’ because it absolutely, categorically, steadfastly refuses to use power if you are not going to the light for good reason.
Weng has also created a digital photo frame that automatically starts blurring the pictures appearing on it if you fail to interact with the frame for a period of time.
In other words, it shames you into paying attention to images that you probably claim are ‘important to you’.
Then there’s Albert Clock by Axel Schindlbeck & Fred Mauclere.
This is a clock where it tells you the time by mental arithmetic.
In short, if you want to know the time, you have to do the maths.
Yes, I know it’s horrific … but it’s also massively cool.
OK, so maybe I’m the only person who is excited by this sort of stuff, but I like that this technology is offering you something more than just ‘making your life easier’ … it’s offering you the chance to value the moment.
We spend so much time passively engaged with life.
Of course, we will passionately argue that we’re fully focused, but the fact is we’re not.
We watch movies while checking out details on our phones.
We listen to music while playing video games.
We talk on the phone while reading websites.
We don’t get to truly value what we have because – as my wife says about me, far too much of the time – we’re not living in the present.
The wonder of this technology is it changes that.
It makes you care about the book you’re reading.
It makes you truly value the time you’re enjoying.
It forces you to embrace the memories that have importance in your life.
Sure, it may be annoying … sure you might regret purchasing it the moment you are negatively impacted by it … but in a World where we seem to be focused on NOT making people appreciate what they’ve got, I think this is a brilliant movement.
We’ll find out whether I still feel that way, once some of these items arrive at my house.
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