Subourbon Mom


Smart Cars and Smarter Onesies–Inventions That Scare Me

With every new year there are articles covering what’s going to be trending in technology.  Some are pretty cool, and some… not so much.

Under the pretty cool category, I thought Lynette Jones’s touch-based (haptic) communications system sounded interesting. Haptic technology studies the sense of touch on human skin. For example, rescue workers trying to find buried survivors could wear a belt with buzzers that would alert them with a buzz on their skin, warning them of danger and the need to move left or right; or, a vision-impaired person could be buzzed on their left or right arm, indicating which way to turn as they maneuver through a city (http://www.livescience.com/37461-vibrating-navigators-shake-up-devices.html).

These goals are certainly admirable, but I thought of a different use: during sex, partners could wear a device (hopefully undetected by their partner) that would tell them when what they were doing was getting their partner aroused, based on pulse rate, etc.  No more guess work, no more “That’s not it…a little to the left would be better…” (Of course, Hubby would like me to clarify that this issue is only something my girlfriends have complained about to me–we have none of these issues.) This might be especially helpful for the inexperienced lover, or for the next generation who will undoubtedly be unable to read facial cues because they are always looking at their phones.  I’m sure with the right advances and some clever designer strategies, someone could come up with some fancy lingerie that would work.

Under the “Not-so-much” category is the onesie created by Intel  that can measure a baby’s temperature, pulse rate and breathing rate (http://www.ideaconnection.com/new-inventions/intel-showcases-wearable-tech-07905.html.)  The onesie would then tell a smart phone or smart coffee mug (who thought a coffee mug was the best choice for this?) when the baby is hungry, sick, or waking up. If the baby is hungry, the smart onesie could trigger a bottle warmer to begin warming up the baby’s milk. For a baby with health issues, or if there is an inexperienced babysitter, smart onesies could be a huge help.

But seriously…  Someone actually created a device that would tell a new mother her child MIGHT be waking up?

Unknown-1Clearly, this was NOT developed by a sleep-deprived parent who, every thirty minutes, staggers to their newborn’s crib upon hearing the tiny, delicate scratch of a fingernail on the sheets, so exhausted they are unable to remember their own name.  If my phone beeped at me because my baby might be waking up, I would throw the phone and the onesie into the diaper genie.

Another “not-so-much” device is Automatic, created by Automatic Labs in San Francisco. According to the website, Automatic is a device in cars that can record data about your car and your driving habits (like speeding, braking too hard, or accelerating too fast), and displays the results on your phone so you can save energy and money. It can also map out each trip using GPS, calculate gas usage and mileage, and gives you a driving score. The higher your score, the more money you are saving. It even remembers where you parked.

Okaaaaay…speaking as one with a lead foot and the occasional case of road rage, I don’t think I need another device in my car to “help” me be a better driver. I already have Hubby (who has commented on my driving since we first got into a car together), and Daughters 1&2 (who closely monitor my driving habits now that they are learning how to drive). As for braking hard and accelerating too fast, I’ll stop doing that when other people learn how to drive without being stupid.

Now that I think about it, Automatic would be helpful in monitoring Daughters 1&2. They certainly couldn’t turn off Automatic like they can turn off the Find A Friend App…

But the feature that remembers where I’ve parked? That alone would be worth the $99.95 price tag.

Tune in next week to “Inventions I Will Never Patent But Will Rage About When Someone Else Does…”




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