If only technology were true to its promise


New technologies normally disappoints, but that doesn’t suggest it isn’t great. My first come upon with a technological innovation was in 1964 when I was presented the coveted Tressy doll for Christmas.

I wasn’t fond of dolls and almost never performed with them, but the Tressy was unique mainly because she arrived with a crucial you could adhere in her back. Change it and her hair would develop or shrink.

I was totally awed by the advertisements for Tressy, so when I opened my existing and discovered a authentic Tressy, I was in raptures.

The to start with time I played with the doll, on the other hand, the keyhole on her again broke, and her hair refused to retreat into her plastic scalp. I was crushed.

Donna Marmorstein

Donna Marmorstein

I’ve been skeptical about innovation at any time considering that, but I continue to relish the strategies behind every single new invention.

When the Alexa intelligent speaker was marketed, I was surprised at what it was meant to do. It could give you time and temperature hold a buying listing, appear up anything at all on Wikipedia, established timers and alarms, insert occasions to your calendar, engage in new music and deliver voice messages.

It does most of these points some of the time.

A lot more and extra often, nevertheless, it mishears or ignores me fully. When Alexa was new, the adverts stated it was built to increase by itself about time. Instead, it appears to be to worsen.

Typically, Alexa presents off-the-wall responses to my requests. If I notify it to engage in a Fargo radio information station, it may possibly engage in a country station in Texas, or an alternative new music station in Philadelphia. It could incorporate odd things to my buying list or my calendar. Instead of “appointment with Dr. Kaiser” it could say “appointment with lock your eye serve.”

GPS technological know-how also disappoints. At the time, we went a extremely short length from an airport to a wedding ceremony venue. We need to have checked an possibility for most electricity successful rather of the most direct route, so the GPS took us in a slower — but someway additional ecological — method of travel.

Yet another time, I inadvertently employed pedestrian somewhat than auto mode, and I was routed in a incredibly unusual way. These are human error problems, not technological know-how issues for each se, but they took place so simply that I even now blame technology.

Just lately, our refrigerator died, and we purchased a new “smart” fridge. I was wowed by lots of new characteristics.

This fridge has a digital camera within so you can see what is in it devoid of opening the door. Supposedly.

Also, you can view your refrigerator’s contents from your cellular phone so that if you are at Ken’s or Kessler’s and just can’t bear in mind if you even now have ketchup, you can use an app and see.

Sad to say, the digital camera only displays what’s suitable in front of it. You simply cannot see what’s in bottom drawers or the doorways. It’s nonetheless great, but not quite as cool as it can make out to be.

The fridge has a display on the doorway, so you can surf the internet when choosing what to make for dinner. You can connect your fridge to your clever Tv, if you want.

My son states, “Great. Now you can view the inside of of your fridge from the ease and comfort of your dwelling room.”

When you watch your fridge contents, labels on goods surface and make a listing. This is helpful because it arranges items by expiration date. Even so, it invariably mislabels merchandise. My yogurt is labeled “beer.” My salsa was named “cookies.” Pickles were being a sports activities consume.

The guarantee of technologies is generally brighter than the fact, but the fact is at minimum a source of amusement.

Donna Marmorstein lives and writes in Aberdeen. Electronic mail [email protected].

This posting initially appeared on Aberdeen News: Soliloquy column If only technologies have been true to its guarantee


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