Technology is constantly and rapidly progressing, and companies love nothing more than having the newest and coolest features. Unfortunately, in that quest for buzz we often get things that are either completely pointless (speaking of Buzz) or worse than what we originally had. Here are 7 things touted as progress that actually suck.
When the Wii came out, my mother waited in line for hours to get me one. She assumed that I'd love it, but mostly I think she just wanted a way to force me to stop mocking her every time she referred to my PS3 as a Nintendo. Moms, they'll never learn. At first she was right, the motion control was awesome. Unfortunately the novelty wore off within a week of upgrading from Wii Sports.
I quickly realized that I have no interest in pretending to throw a football in my living room. I play video games because I'm lazy, not because I want to pretend I'm in the NFL. I grew weary of half-assed movements to control the game and started to play much less. The neighbors below complaining about me repeatedly jumping in my living room to go all Chuck Woodson on people put an end to it for good. With the potential exception of shooting games, I really have no interest in ever putting in effort to play a video game again.
The most damning evidence for Siri is that it essentially existed a year before Apple popularized the service. It was called "Voice Action for Android" and did most of the same things that Siri does, only without the attitude and racism against the Chinese. It wasn't until the soon to be ghost of Steve Jobs told Apple fanboys about how cool it was that everyone decided it was the greatest thing since canned beer.
If the three friends I still have are any indication, the only time Siri is actually used is to show off to others that they have Siri. Congrats, you have a voice on your phone that can Google things for you. You've essentially turned into that friend that texts me to ask a question I obviously don't know the answer to just hoping I'd look it up for them. There's nothing cool about pretending your phone is a person. That's a gateway for our robot overlords if I've ever heard of one.
To start, if you can't open a bottle of wine without a battery powered device, you don't deserve to drink it. Even if you just wrap it in a cheese cloth and break it over a bowl, that's still better than having to use an automatic wine opener. While conventional wisdom says that the cork is intended to seal out the air and in the booze, the original reason for them was to idiot proof the booze. OK, that's not true at all, but I'm sure it occurred to someone before right now.
The selling points of most are for either feeble people (who probably shouldn't be drinking), those with arthritis, or just to ensure the perfect pull every time. Well, none of those actually play out. The problem is that you still have to be able to push down firmly in order to position the opener. You can't simply hover above the bottle and expect magic to happen. This leads to the next problem. Just because it's automatic doesn't mean that the corkscrew is going to drive down correctly. If you don't hold the device just right, you're going in slanted and will remain thirsty the rest of the night. And finally, it's slow. If you're like me, you can't get that bottle open fast enough. It takes a good 15 seconds to complete the process, and I could be on glass two in that amount of time.
In an effort to turn all of us into Terminators, Project Glass is working to create glasses that constantly monitor where you are, what you're doing, and with whom you're doing it. If this are anything like the location based Google maps on my phone, there are going to be some immediate problems. I swear I wasn't in that brothel, I was a full block away at church.
Another problem is that they let you take pictures, stream video, and a host of other things. The real issue with that is everything can be recorded, and there's nothing you can do about it. I've frequently wanted to take pictures or videos of people who looked or were acting stupid, but I didn't because it would be awkward to pull out my phone and point it at them. If I could have recorded them without their knowledge, a lot of lives would be ruined at this point. The one upside? Sex tapes. Tons of them!
The newest Cadillacs, among other vehicles, have started including indicators that tell you when you are leaving your lane. No, not the turn signal, this one is autonomous to protect drivers who are taking a nap or just not paying attention. It isn't just on the dashboard either. Some even have a vibrating device in the seat for extra
There are a few obvious problems with this. First, it's encourages people to not pay attention because they know the car will let them know if it start starts to veer off course. The last thing we need is more people thinking it's OK to talk on the phone, do their makeup, or eat any food that involves sight. Beyond that, if you live in America, you know that our roads are constantly under construction. Lanes are always shifting a few feet one way or the other, and while new lines are added, the others remain. You don't just erase paint. Now you're stuck driving for miles with your left thigh rumbling and an light constantly trying to tell you something you don't care about. I don't want my car to turn into my Facebook news feed.
While video and games are a major component of phones, there's nothing that we use more than messaging. In 2011, more than 7 trillion text messages were sent world wide. That doesn't even account for iMessage, gChat, and whatever other apps are out there (Is AIM still a thing?) making texts obsolete. So why then would I want to deal with an on-screen keyboard?
I have tiny lady fingers, and I still can't type two straight sentences without an error. And if the numerous and hilarious "Damn you autocorrect" sites are any indication I'm not the only one. Autocorrect may work on occasion, but with the number of instances in which it's wrong, it doesn't justify wasting all the extra time trying to put the cursor in the correct space to replace the errors it missed. Plus I am irrationally irritated by having to constantly hide the keyboard to look at something and then bring it back up to continue.
Tupac's return from his island vacation only to appear at Coachella sparked 1000s of Facebook updates, videos, and mediocre jokes. It also caused quite a controversy over who owns the rights to celebrity's images after they die. Went went overlooked though is how big of a waste of time that was.
There are few options when it comes to holograms. You can either pre-record the content, digitally create it, or live stream it. With digital creation, who cares? It's not the real thing so I might as well be watching a motion capture movie (which we all hate). The second option is a little better, but if you are going to pre-record something, I don't need to see it on stage. The fun of a live show is that you don't know what might happen. Improvisation, errors, random decision to go bigger...that's why we see live shows. If it's all pre-determined, it's nothing more than watching a video.
The streaming version (think Will.i.am post Obama election) is at least a step in the right direction, but it's still just a gimmick. They claimed at the time it was to help control noise factors, but in that case a simple video chat would have sufficed. If musicians want to perform shows holographically and only charge $5 because they are appearing simultaneously in 50 markets, I'll re-consider. We all know that won't happen though.