According to Silicon Valley, the future is ‘smart’; soon even the simplest of products will be imbued with ‘intelligence’.
It’s already happened with your phone, television and car and your fridge isn’t far behind. One day smart clothes will monitor your mood, smart furniture will examine your lifestyle and smart toilets will analyse your diet. You won’t just ‘use’ things, you’ll ‘interact’ with them and then… they’ll talk to each other. About you.
One tech-guru recently declared that doors were ‘dumb’ because all they do is open and close; what the world really needs is a door that knows your routines and anticipates your needs; an interactive portal to a world of choice and entertainment.
‘Take a coat’ your smartdoor says as you leave for work, ‘the forecast is for rain’. ‘And swing by the dry cleaners, your smart pants say you spilled linguini on the crotch. And why not check out that new zombie movie? It got five stars on Flixster and it’s half-price Tuesday… should I download the trailer to your smart glasses?’
My dumb old door can’t do any of that. It doesn’t have a power supply or a wi-fi connection or a contract with a service provider in The Cloud. It doesn’t need maintenance, repair, consumables or constant compatibility upgrades and it doesn’t generate still more useless information for Big Data to sort out.
It doesn’t even have an active carbon footprint.
Which makes me wonder:
Are we confusing ‘technologically complex and advanced’ with ‘smart’?
Because that seems a little… I dunno… dumb.