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 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

image

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:

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.”

‘….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???

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…

25 April 2018

Women Redux

It’s been only a few months since I blogged about the power and influence of women:

21 February 2018
imageWomen
… Ten, twelve years ago there were older women. Now there are older women younger than I am. Weird. It’s some strange time/space warp I’m living in.

Mature women are just all over the place. Take a look:

imageMeet Fashion’s Next Generation: Over 60s
… Baby boomers have been largely absent from advertising, especially in high-fashion, despite driving 42 percent of spending in the US, versus 13 percent for millennial and Gen-Z consumers … Typically, companies gear their campaigns towards a younger demographic, assuming the ads will also appeal to their parents. Now, some companies are reversing that formula.

Here’s a brave campaign, certainly braver than one from a few years ago:

Ads for pee-proof underwear campaign redefine the customers who wear them
by Zoƫ Beery
image New York-based underwear company Icon’s strategy is to go all in with a cheeky, flippant message. Today, their "Piss Off" campaign takes over the Bryant Park subway station in Manhattan…

Pee-Proof Underwear Brand Launches ‘Piss Off’ Campaign To End The Stigma Of Bladder Leaks
imagePeriod-proof underwear company Thinx is taking on the incontinence industry with its sister brand Icon, “patented pee-proof underwear that lets leaky ladies kick pantyliners (and the lame stigma of bladder leaks) to the curb.”

And GRAND Magazine features a cover photo and article about model Yazemeenah Rossi (note: my interest is purely professional):

imageYAZEMEENAH ROSSI: Secrets To …
by Wendy Packer
… Contrary to what some people may think about women in their 60s, Yazemeenah feels prettier today than ever before … She is also very popular on Instagram with women in their 20s and 30s seeking advice on how to stay well as we age …

From The Remember When Files:

21 February 2007
Dove Pro-Age Campaign
… There is a big difference between thinking you are younger than you are, and not thinking that you are old …

15 April 2018

Generations Make Better Decisions Together

That’s what a blogger for Forbes tells us:

Future Of Work: Research Shows Millennials, Gen Xers And Baby Boomers Make Better Decisions Together
by Erik Larson
“Decision-making teams that include a wide range of younger and older employees significantly outperform more narrowly young or old teams.”

Good article, worth a read. But it’s difficult to get too excited about this musty revelation. Yours truly and many others have been saying the same for years.

From my book © 2005:

0976697319.01.I have a business friend who wants to start an advertising agency that would only accept clients whose products are for the 50-plus market, and he wants to hire only people over fifty, from the receptionist on up. It’s hard not to applaud such an idea, but I wouldn’t want to work there. And it wouldn’t be because of the receptionist. I’ve met some gorgeous, very smart ones who’ve mentioned to me that they’re grandmothers. (They’ve got to be lying.) The reason I wouldn’t work there is because I love working with people in their twenties. They sizzle. They’re galvanized. They charge me up.

Lots more:

Diversity = Productivity (2008)
image... Scott E. Page, a professor of complex systems, political science and economics at the University of Michigan, is a fresh voice... Rather than ponder moral questions like, “Why can’t we all get along?” Dr. Page asks practical ones like, “How can we all be more productive together?” The answer, he suggests, is in messy, creative organizations and environments with individuals from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences.

You Know Who's Boss – Consumers (2007)
But Do You Really Know Them Well?
image … It makes all the sense in the world for ad makers (both clients and agencies) to be well-stocked with people who understand consumers, whether young people who fathom the mysteries of cyberspace, a good mixture of people who reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of our country, and, yes, even older people who understand the vitality and buying power of the great gorge of baby boomers overtaking our land.

Talk about the need for greater diversity in the business largely has fallen on deaf ears. (2013)
Nobody likes to be told whom they should hire -- unless it can be demonstrated that hiring the right mix of people can improve the bottom line…

Intergenerational Teams A Strength (2013)
The company focuses on recruiting new talent and retaining the services of experienced employees, which often results in the creation of inter-generational teams tackling company projects together.

So hire or work with someone who’s not you. You already have a you. Why would you need another one?