Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Wireless World

Technology is awesome, scary, miraculous, confusing, helpful and creepy.

My work world depends on technology and I embrace most of it. I do a reasonable job of keeping up with changes. Yet I seem to be a little behind the curve sometimes, marveling over things that are new to me but firmly established for many other people, especially younger-than-boomer aged people.

Some examples: I've had an iPhone 6 for a year but rarely use Siri. I'm sure it would be easier to say "hey Siri, what's the weather forecast today?" than to type in my passcode, click on my weather app and scroll down to the forecast. But I do the latter.

Prior to Christmas Eve my only Bluetooth devices at home were a printer I bought a few months ago and a speaker I received for Christmas last year from my girlfriend's sons.

On Christmas Eve her sons gave me two more Bluetooth devices, which I am connecting as I write this. Right now I'm playing a playlist on my phone through my stereo, with no wires. Everybody does this but it's still kind of new and amusing to me.

The other device is an Echo dot. When that's set up I'll be able to say "Alexa, play my Christmas playlist."  This Alexa entity could adjust the volume, turn my lights on and off and answer important questions like "How old is Sting!" Do I need something like this?  No. Will I enjoy using it?  Yes.

Sometimes awesome innovations we consider necessaries begin as novelties. The telephone is a pretty good example. The tv remote is another. The personal computer and the smart phone are two more. I get the feeling Alexa can be a best non-human friend for visually impaired people. I picture a future world in which nearly all of our home and work activities are voice activated. That's already the case in some countries. It was certainly the case in Star Trek.

Awesome!

And a little scary, miraculous, confusing, helpful and creepy.

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