31 May 2018

Smart Bathrooms

imageNow everything is smart. Even bathrooms. Even everything in bathrooms.

There are smart showers, smart tubs, smart toilets, smart sinks, smart medicine cabinets, smart soap dispensers, smart floors, ceilings and walls, smart lights, towel racks, tooth brushes.

They’re all smarter than I am. They all make me feel dumb.

Contrary to common wisdom, I don’t believe that hanging out with smart things will make you smarter. All my life I’ve been hanging out with dumb things, had to figure them out myself, which probably made me smarter. I think.

Or I could be wrong. With all these smart things, you have to first figure out how to figure out how use them. Maybe smart things do make you smarter.

Aging In Place. Universal Design. Technology. 
Smart-whatevers have taken over.

My litmus test for smart-whatevers: Does it make something simpler (good) or more complicated (bad)?

Rising Wall Bathtub

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While understanding the possible need for an easier method of stepping into a bathtub, for most people this design/technology complicates a simple activity – taking a bath. We are used to running a bath and getting in after it is full. During the video, I kept wondering if, with all the features and buttons and whatnot, you might accidentally lower the side and flood the bathroom. Probably an irrational fear, but I bet other people might have the same thoughts. This is a negative reaction and will turn people away. The regular ol’ step-in bath/shower/spa seems easier to use and safer.

Image result for step-in bathtub

Toilet Lift

SMSS-2T

This is a horror show. An accident ready to happen. And not to get too graphic – but what if you really have to go? A serious concern as you get older.

Touch-less Toilets

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Watch Video

A perfect example of making something simpler, not more complicated. I don't even care about the hygienic attributes - it simply makes things simpler.

Smart Shower

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Watch Video (if you’re that bored)

A perfect example of making something simple absurdly complicated. You want to take a shower – not have a showerhead with a mind of its own or play video/computer games. A dumb shower.

Self-Cleaning Toilet

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Watch Video

Makes things easier and less complicated. The original ‘self-cleaning’ toilet is a flush toilet. This improves on the original concept with no added complexity for the user.

Horizontal Shower

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Watch Video

I have no idea what the point of this is. If someone can’t stand up, there are plenty of chair/seat options available – along with hand-held showerheads. Sexy video, however. A humorous take on the product:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/house-and-homes-blog/2012/feb/02/horizontal-shower-worst-invention-ever

So do smart-whatevers make you smarter or dumber? 

I don’t know, but pretty soon you’ll need a technology degree to pee.
____

Thanks to Tony Berrio Gallego for collecting these links.

18 May 2018

The more things stay the same…

CVRCompA long time ago I wrote a book. When it was published, I read it.

I was shocked.

I had no idea that I’d written a book about Human Resources. It certainly wasn’t what I thought I’d written. It was as if you thought you’d written a science fiction novel and it ended up being a cookbook.

I was reminded of this yesterday while reading an article in Tech Republic:

‘….Wait … I wrote a book about this in 2005, even though I didn’t think I was writing it …. Same plot, same themes, different setting, different characters.  But it’s my book …

Should I sue for plagiarism???

3 reasons why hiring older tech pros is a smart decision
By Alison DeNisco Rayome
image… “The combination of a stereotype that older adults don't use technology, and the fact that younger people are doing the development, has implications," Mitzner said. Not only are older workers being overlooked, but products that could reach a large segment of the population are not designed to do so.”

A blog post (before there were blogs) from 2003:

Back into the Fold
The Giant Leap: There had better be a minor revolution in the creative end of the advertising industry. Talented men and women in their late forties and fifties need to be brought back into the fold if you want to reach us. This includes copywriters, graphic artists, producers, directors, and creative directors.

The first few chapters of that moldy, old book:

Intro-First Chapter (PDF)

And a collection of posts about Human Resources:

Human Resources/Brain Power

The more things stay the same, the more they stay the same.

04 May 2018

Banner Blindness

Image result for where's waldoIt’s a type of blindness you welcome.

Often after googling something, finding the info you’re looking for on a webpage can be as frustrating as trying to find Waldo.

Banner Blindness Revisited: Users Dodge Ads on Mobile and Desktop
by Kara Pernice
image… To complete their tasks efficiently, people have learned to pay attention to elements that typically are helpful (e.g., navigation bars, search boxes, headlines) and ignore those which are usually void of information. Ads are perhaps the most prominent member of this last category …

I’ve written about this recently…

26 March 2018
NostraChuckus’ Crystal Ball of Common Sense has spot-on prognosticated what would come true in 2018

I’ve written about it for years…

06 March 2012
Digital Distractions
Digital interruptions are headache-inducing.

12 March 2012
Digital Distractions II
…The point is that Facebook is a social medium, not an advertising one … You interrupt social conversations with commercial messages at your peril…

And there’s this *WARNING: AUTOPLAY VIDEO!* (yes, I get the irony):

Four in 10 consumers scroll past and no longer trust social ads
Image result for ZDNetBy Eileen Brown
Consumers are constantly distracted by digital media and content and are losing trust in brands, according to a new study.

Maybe it’s time for advertisers to ‘get with it’ and stop relying on musty, outdated, tired media like the web and mobile:

Image result for transistor radioBrands Need to Join the 21st Century and Tap Into Radio Advertising
By Jateen Parekh
The audio market is booming…