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