Apple’s design accomplishments are legendary. Their design prowess in most ways sets the benchmark. Their feats and are often credited with inventing new categories of products we never knew we needed when I think they actually are simply the best at perfecting ideas. With that said what if that prowess extended far beyond the technology stratosphere and reached many of the simpleton things we encounter on a daily basis. Here’s my list of 5 things I wish they did just that.
- Vending Machines. Vending Machines universally suck. They constantly rip you off. They’re giant, orca giant, and noisy. Can you say, “Siri, can I have a Milky Way please?”
- ATMs. Also universally suck. “Siri, give me a Benjamin please.” “Certainly, how would you like that?” “Three 20s, two tens, two fives, and the rest in ones will do.” Notice I never had to select my language preference in this exchange and yes I’m aware of Apple Pay but the vending machine I frequent isn’t and is perfectly content stealing my cash.
- Microwaves. Now these don’t normally suck but how cool would it be to pop in your tv dinner, shut the door and it started automatically because it read some NFC tag or bar code that in turn translated to the proper wattage and heating time. It will even pause to tell you in Siri’s wonderful voice it’s time to remove the wrapper over the refried beans and stir them. Oh and the door makes virtually no noise to open or close. Why are microwave doors always so loud anyway? Loud buzzers, forget about it, just Siri’s delish voice. Step out of the room when the timer ends no problem, a gentle notification to your iPhone or Apple Watch will let you know your dinner is ready. It would also alert you when it detected metal and not operate until it is removed.
- Automatic faucets. You know the kind in public bathrooms. Seriously why do these never work when I put my hands under them and why do they stop when I haven’t removed my hands?! The urinals usually work as do paper towel dispensers and air dryers why not faucets?
- A Kid’s Tablet. Because my 5 year old has access to a LeapPad, a Kindle Fire, a Nintendo DS, and a Xbox Kinect but almost always prefers my iPhone 6 I believe because it offers the most hassle free experience for him. This may not qualify to be on this list because it’s still a tech product nevertheless I just want to see what Apple would do with a product designed from the ground up exclusively for kids.
Yesterday closed out a one day fire sale of Google Glass. It was opened up for anyone to purchase directly through Google’s site for a whopping $1,500 for one day only and it was supposedly a massive success with a complete sell out. For the past year+ since Google announced the developer version of Google Glass there’s been a ton of buzz. Much criticism has been cast as well. It usually goes something like It’s got the cool factor with a ton of potential for sure, but it’s also a little creepy too. The creepy factor comes with the built in camera that can potentially be activated with a simple wink. This is the foundation for both the cool and creepy factor. It’s also the greatest reason Google Glass will be a dismal failure. This is a first for me. I typically won’t rant on a product before it really has had a chance to get off the ground and prove the pundits right or wrong but I must make an exception here because it seems so obvious that it will fail. Here’s the scenario that will precipitate the dramatic fall or prevent a meteoric rise for Glass. Remember the helmet cam footage recently from the bikers’/Range Rover road rage incident from last year in NYC? Well there’s gonna be something as dramatic caught on Glass. This footage will air all over the world, a perpetrator will be tried and convicted based off the footage, and Glass will have all the free press it could dream of. A few days later somebody is going to be walking down the street minding his own Ps and Qs and take a wrong turn down some villainous city block. Some madman is going to take issue with said Glass wearing pee on and beat him to a bloody pulp for wearing it and invading his turf and privacy. It’s going to happen. Unfortunately it’s a solid bet and when it does nobody is going to want to wear their Glass in public for fear of a repeat performance. There are other factors that will lead to it’s demise like the first vehicular accident involving an offender wearing Glass but the camera will be Glass’s ultimate demise. How about instances where security is involved? Dare I mention this, but a synchronized camera feed would be a nice tool for terrorists to utilize when attempting to pull off coordinated attacks. FYI Google, there’s very good reason camcorder manufacturers started putting a little red light on their products when recording. Crap, did I officially just become a pundit with this last statement?
I applaud Google Glass for its possibilities and technical prowess but unfortunately we simply can’t handle the human factor as a society yet. Will I get one? Sure when the price drops 100% and will likely use it as a TV companion so I can blink my way through channel surfing in an effort to stave off carpal tunnel syndrome from excess remote usage. If I’m really lucky a series of coordinated blinks might even someday tell some Google Bot to appear with a cold beer in extended robo grip. Now that would exhibit some cool factor!