Comment: The iWatch, perhaps not a great idea
Returning to my theme of how mobile technology is destroying our lives, I was driving in town yesterday and was struck by how many people I saw driving and trying to read and/or write e-mails or sms messages at the same time. One earnest young businessman could be found zig-zagging along Kiseleff like a destroyer on convoy duty trying to avoid a torpedo attack in the North Atlantic. He missed me a few times, as I tried to anticipate his trajectory, but not by much.
On a recent occasion I saw a young professional woman, speaking at an important Human Resources seminar attended by many who might have been impressed by her, stop speaking in mid-sentence and raise her right hand closer to eye level. She did this because she had just noticed a new message arriving on the iPhone 5 that she had unwisely taken with her to the podium. I realized that she could not be separated from the gadget when I saw her later, at the very fine buffet lunch, gazing at it enraptured as her boss wasted his time speaking to her.
I am not without guilt on this issue and I have come close to crashing into cars stopped ahead of me at traffic lights, on more than one occasion, as I focused on the e-mails appearing on my shiny new iPhone 3GS. That’s why I changed my contract and turned my phone into a Wi-Fi only device. It is also why I can hector anyone who will listen in the manner of one who has stopped smoking and insists that everyone else follow my example. Nonetheless, I now breathe more easily and find driving and other social activities much less stressful than when I was fully smartphone-enabled.
However, I do continue to worry especially when I read about Apple’s falling share price and the pressure being exerted on the company by disgruntled shareholders and industry analysts to do something ‘game changing’ to boost their earnings and return the company to its global number one position. One of a number of suggestions being made is for Apple to finally introduce its much-rumored iWatch, the next revolutionary personal mobile device.
My God! Can you imagine the loss of life and material destruction that will ensue once the middle classes and their children are equipped with one of these ‘must have, anywhere-but-here’ gadgets?
Because it will be attached to our wrist (it’s a watch!), we won’t have to bend down, reach into our pocket or dig remorselessly in our handbag to find it. We will be able to look at our messages, e-mails or video-caller instantly no matter what we were supposed to be doing before we were ‘contacted’. Cars will be driven into other cars, into trees and over cliffs as we turn the steering wheel to get a better view of our screens. Similarly, many planes will fail to take off as their pilots, reading urgent e-mails on their wrists, plow into the field at the end of countless runways.
Everyone will take lunch alone because there will be no point in meeting a friend or a business associate, as they loudly slurp ciorba while talking into their watch, just like us. Emergency hospitals will be flooded by patients with muscular distress caused by holding their wrists up to their faces continuously throughout the day.
I could go on. But it is enough to say that whatever ideas Apple develop in order to move their business successfully though the next ten year technology business cycle, the iWatch should definitely not be one of them.
By Ronnie Smith, Guest Writer