December 30, 2013

Screenworld? I'm skeptical

So I don't know if you've seen this advert from Samsung yet.

It depecits a not-so-distant future in which every fucking thing has a screen on it. EVERY FUCKING THING.

Not just practical things like handheld devices, or maybe your bathroom mirror.

Your coffee cup? Put a screen on it.
Your coffee table? Put a screen on it.
Your bedroom wall? It's got a screen that your dad can use to spy on you while you sleep.

The video starts with 30 seconds of garbage saying that "technology starts with a love for you."

I'm going to skate right past the creepy idea of my toaster being in love with me, and I'm going to move on to the practical critique of the screen placements themselves.

In reality, I don't think a SINGLE ONE OF THESE items would be used as shown in the commercial.
When television first came out, it was heralded as being an opportunity to educate the masses for free. We love education, or we think we do, but in reality, we really like stupid things.

Obey Your Master

The iPad wasn't advertized as a device that transforms your kids (or your mother) into anti-social 'Angry Birds' addicts. They advertise it showing kids looking at things in space. Because we all really want to think that this device is going to teach our kids something cool about space that we don't understand. But let's face it. Astrophysics is hard, and your 5 year old doesn't understand basic algebra, let alone multi-variable logarithmic equations, so they aren't going to Mars on their own anytime soon. So why not watch a game show where people try to fit through a hole in a styrofoam wall?

Since I'm a cynic, and since we always do the dumb thing instead of the smart thing, I've compiled a play by play of the differences between how these devices are proposed to be used, and how they would be used in reality by the majority of people:

Ideal: Your coffee cup tells you your blood pressure, weather, and other helpful information.
Reality: You pick up your cup. You are groggy and your coffee cup is COVERED IN TOUCH SCREEN. Which sucks because you have to PICK IT UP to DRINK FROM IT, which is how cups are meant to be used. Thusly, your iCoffee/Phone/Computer sends gibberish to everybody in your contact list.
BONUS: People pour hot coffee all over their laps while trying to read the news during their morning commute to work.

Ideal: dad says hello to his daughter while getting ready for work somewhere around the world.
Reality: "Hey Honey! Good morning!"
"Dad, WTF? Leave me alone!" *turns off screen*

Ideal: cool space age screen clock that folds in half
Reality: almost nobody will pay $7,000 for a clock, no matter how cool it looks

Ideal: cutting board becomes a ... food computer?
Reality: there is food stuck all over the screen and now the touch display is freaking out and hitting buttons that you didn't mean to hit and you can't get it to stop, and now your wireless oven won't turn off. Thanks samsung.

Ideal: Control panels are on the window of your car
Reality: oily finger smudges, all over the window.

Ideal: School's windows passively educate kids by displaying words and images
Reality: Kids learn to ignore the constant barrage of billboard ads that their school put up to help cover the budget cuts.

Ideal: Kids play video games with children from around the world, I guess, ending war as we all enter the new global society?
Reality: Kids use the internet to semi-anonymously bully other kids they don't even know and may never meet. Also, finger smudges all over the walls! Wash your damn hands kids!

Ideal: Kid drops display, it doesn't break
Reality: Kid drops display 100,000 times, it breaks

Ideal: science class has an awesome screen wall, turns teacher into a weatherman for the solar system.
Reality: Who is going to program these lessons? How will the schools pay for them? They won't. This is just another for-profit bullshit infotainment that FEELS like learning, but really isn't actually education (despite looking like a school.)

Ideal: Amazing elevator displays provide information available only on CNN (NEWS: Headline!) your iphone, or coffee cup, your car window, your wristwatch, or apparently anything else that is event remotely flat. Vitally important elevator related information like, "is it raining in Paris?" or "What time is it?"
Reality: ...just, why?

Lorum Ipsum!

Ideal: Your purse is actually just an ipad now.
Reality: Will still be manage to become filled with tiny pieces of crud of unknown origin.

Ideal: Your husband can call you on your wristwatch phone! Like dick tracy!
Reality: You will intentionally leave your wristwatch/phone on the counter at home because you are sick of getting inane phone calls from your husband about absolutely nothing every couple hours.

Ideal: Wife talks to husband while he is at work through her display window
Reality: The government uses your window cam to spy on everybody in your house

Ideal: you utilize your coffee table display to bring up important information about a presentation
Reality: *checking twitter*

Ideal: Your kid uses the floor tv to learn about space (there's that space thing again)
Reality:Your kid spills ice cream all over the floor screen and doesn't clean it up, leaving it to harden into an unremovable glue-like substance, but not before attracting and trapping all the dust bunnies in the house.

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