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Talking about tech that doesn’t exist yet and tech that does

I’m one of those people who feels stuck in the dark ages.

a close up of a very dense wall calendar month view with weekends highlighted in yellow. Black print. Abbreviated days of the week are in another language, maybe Portuguese

I feel like I experience frustration daily at the lack of tech solutions to common and complex problems. “Why does this not exist yet!?” is a constant scream in my head. I need to start writing each of these situations/problems/solutions down. I know the answer, though, for most of them: No-one wants to build that. It will cost too much to make. Not enough people will buy it. These are mostly bullshit answers but they are what come out of the mouths of business people and engineers when I ask them about some of these gaps in tech. I get looked at like a crazy person, so I’ve stopped asking.

Here are 4 things I’ve been talking about for EVER. #2 and #3 are coming (hopefully) but at a snails pace (because: politics). #1 isn’t even on the tech/biz world’s agenda. #4 had better be here by next Xmas.

  1. A synchronizable wall calendar for the kitchen. I want a visual display of all my family’s calendar events. I want it presented in the typical wall calendar way, with a month view and a pretty picture above. I want everyone’s phones to sync to it, either automatically on manually. I want to drill down to minute settings on each event, e.g. shareable to the wall or not, shareable to each family member or not, etc.
  2. Better medical tech. We need more tech in healthcare, like AI diagnosing or robots that make medication dispensing errors the thing of the past. Total body scan health equipment available for free at pharmacies or even at home. We need to pick up heart valve blockages and aneurisms before they kill people. Stuff like that. AI will transform healthcare if we don’t let big pharma and the rest of them quash it.
  3. Self-driving taxis, fast trains and air taxis. Yes, I know fast trains exist in other countries. Our trains suck here. because: politics.
  4. Group Movie Sync. I want to have a corny xmas movie marathon with friends around the world. We can skype or use some sort of google group chat but we have no way of synching our movie start times. If we want to live watch with each other, we will need superhuman speeds and precision to make sure we are all on the same exact frame of the movie. A calendar with signups that would automatically start everything, the movie, the group video, etc, would be awesome.

Then there’s tech that is changing the culture but people don’t notice. One is surveillance capitalism. Those companies need to be legislated.

Another is communications and its invisible psychological burdens. Yesterday I posted about read receipts, those notifications you get under your text messages that say the recipient has “seen” your text. Most of my friends do not want senders to know whether or not they’ve seen the sender’s text. They see it as a privacy issue. My point was that a read receipt can be helpful to the sender. One of my friends said the opposite, that a read receipt in itself is a burden on the sender, e.g. now they are pressured to keep texting or perhaps explain themselves, etc.

Any way you look at it, read receipts are a THING. They are a tiny bit of comms minutiae we must contend with. Most people don’t bother to check their settings for any tech, so the defaults rule. Who decides the defaults? Default settings influence the culture. Take for example organ donation. Some countries are defaulted to opt everyone into the system. Those societies do not have organ shortages like the US, an opt-out default culture, does. A default setting in comms, like having read receipts on, turns into the norm. When we don’t bother thinking about and discussing settings like that, they shift parameters without our notice. This blog is a place where I can make note of these things, the technological/psychological details not many others seem to see.

I usually have a new idea or two a month about tech deficiencies, where problems exist that reachable tech (apps, software, hardware, methodology) could solve. I’ll try to remember to start listing them here.

Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay