Chapter 11. Moving Forward
I started this book by describing much of the technology industry as surfing a wave propelled by the idea of because we can, meaning that a lot of things put out in the world originate from a technology or business-oriented perspective, as opposed to human-oriented; we’re just making stuff because we can, without really thinking it through. You know these products when you see them buried in the back of the junk drawer in your kitchen or exiled up on a closet shelf somewhere. They’re usually the result of some idea that seemed interesting but was never really tested, or maybe it was a good concept that was poorly executed. These products are always going to be out there—There will always be someone who will buy a bracelet that zaps you in order to break a bad habit, or a bulky wearable that lets you play back the last 60 seconds of audio. There’s nothing we can do about that. The more dangerous products are those that are actually popular and introduce behaviors and habits that are negative for the user.
I’m not saying that all smartwatches are bad and provide no value—a lot of them are decent fitness trackers, and there’s some great location-based stuff happening in Androidwear—but for the most part, they just take the notifications from your phone and put them on your wrist. This doesn’t seem terrible, per se, but when we step back and look at our overall relationship with technology, we need to be honest with ourselves and think about what we ...