Just picked up this video via Damien Mulley. It’s an Intel ad aimed at the ultra-mobile folk and what the future of computing will mean to the everyday life. The short video shows three brief accounts of “a moment in the life of person x” and how technology helps them. This immediately struck a raw nerve with me. As a kid I loved technology and computing for what I saw as benefits to people, things that would improve their lives and give them more time. The first clip of this video is no further from that ideology. The poor guy is out jogging when he gets a message to say that a business meeting has been brought forward to 0800. How does that show progress or benefit? Who wants meetings at 0800 in the morning?
The sad reality of all these mobile technology developments in recent years is appealing purely to the workaholics in this world. Showing them how they can stay working for longer. That’s not what technology is about in my mind. Technology is there to benefit people and give them more time to enjoy leisure and family not the other way around. Granted, the last clip in the video depicts a social scene albeit characteristic of an elaborate flash mob event where broadcast royalties for music do not seem to apply. If only somebody else shared my opinion I might still have hope that the human race is not doomed to a nightmare existence whereby work is all we do and ironically the technology and machines that we developed to do work for us simply become the reason that others find excuses for us to work longer.
Maybe the moved the meeting to 8am so everyone could get to the beach earlier?
You could say that the guy was enabled by the technology to go jogging knowing that he wasn’t going to miss the meeting. Without the wonderful technology he would have had to stay in his home office. (I wasn’t expecting to be doing a corporate spin today 😉
Personally, I would only get into the whole unified messaging thing, when I am able to automatically block work calls when not working.
I also don’t think it’s realistic that people will be carrying around those huge PDAs. Reminescient of Apple Newtons (avoiding i-words here)
Bring your own speakers to the nightclub where anyone can change the tracklist may not work very well either.
Personally I thought the Daidalos project video was better (http://www.ist-daidalos.org). But, from what I can recall they kept it work related.
(These are my opinions, however my employer is connected with the Daidalos project)
@Brian: I wish that was the case, sadly knowing what I do of corporate America, chances are that guy didn’t get home until after 2000 that night.
@Martin: agreed that maybe blocking work related calls when not on work time might be a step in the right direction but I still have yet to find a reason to remain that connected. I have broadband at home for personal use and paid for personally but I know that I use it a lot for work when I should be relaxing. Solution: no connection = no possibility of disturbance. These advances are always linked to work related benefits and never to personal time or better social uses. It’s the wrong balance if you ask me. But hey, I’m just a neophile, socialist libertarian – not necessarily a good combination of terms. 🙂
I think the cabin-in-the-woods senario does have its merits, and at the right time can be very useful. However I also think that technology can benefit personal life, whether it’s “social” networking, keeping in touch with friends in faraway places, or expressing one’s creative side. I do agree that technology can impose on real life, and everyone should be careful that technology doesn’t interfere with the face-to-face interaction that friends and family deserve. It’s all too easy to connect to the work IM system and work email system. So I suppose it’s technophile beware, and ensure your non-work life remains non-work.