One can easily conclude the advances made in technology are so linear it must make what cam before it obsolete. If we come to this conclusion incorrectly, we end up moving backwards and forwards at the same time because we abandon the benefits of the predecessor.
For example: Analog watches require so little energy, they can be powered by the movement of the wrist itself. Cheaper versions can be powered by piezzoelectricity--that is, the current produced by just squeezing a little piece of quartz. In the move to digital, the watch must be fed from an external source in sessions of electrical downloads. At the same time, there are many things a smart watch can do that an analog watch cannot. Benefits are simply lost moving in both directions. So it is with many transitions from analog to digital if not smaller iterations of improvements.
What is tragic is our assumption that because improvements in analog products end up being digital, that new ideas must be digital to begin with. We assume we have exhausted the potential to invent in the simple macromechanical space. But that is an idea for another article.
Having overwhelmingly embraced technology, the move to digital, the cloud, and so on, I've come exhaustingly close to the edge of the hedonic treadmill. Being a hobbyist with fine writing instruments and paper now and then, I wanted to go "backwards" in some areas in my life to rethink my complete devotion to the digital world. Below are my personal experiences.
Flight information on your wrist with realtime synchronization.
I purchased a set of wrist bands in white. These are the kind that are glued together around your wrist when you attend an outdoor venue to show you haven't just walked around security and you have in fact paid your admission.
Using this, I wrote all the information I needed three times in case the band rotated, the information I needed was always in view. Whenever I needed to know the terminal, what seat I was in, when the flight boarded, took off or landed, I followed a single step algorithm to open up the data:
- Look at wrist
And to make a point, here are some of the steps I didn't need:
- Completely fail, because the battery ran out.
- The device decided to show me notifications instead. Poke my way back to whatever was set up to show me this info.
- The device didn't quite catch that I raised my wrist. Fiddle with it a bit to get away from the interstitial.
- Something else is open, maybe by mistake. Poke your way back.
- Remember which app I set up to store that info.
- Find the app among others.
- "No, I don't want to rate this app right now."
By carrying a pen with me, I could stop at one of the many hard-to-miss screens showing real time informationabout my flight and make any changes (real time sync!) to the band if needed.
Ultrawide, foldable, high resolution, always-on display with airplane mode.
I bought a newspaper while thinking to myself at the same time, "why am I doing this?" Yet the nostalgia of a good old fashioned physical newspaper came flooding back after reading just a few articles.
The display was foldable to match the viewing area that convenienced me at the time. I could open it so wide as to span my entire field of view or small enough to read with one hand or just put in my back pocket to free up both hands.
I could leave it on a table with the article I wanted to casually read bits and pieces of. I didn't have to wake the screen or worry about draining its battery. Whenever I passed by the table, it was ready for viewing.
Similarly, it's designed in a way to need no security features. Purchasing the device inherently and permanently authenticated it for my use. No session timeouts here. Payment options were flexible. I could purhcase single articles or opt for a subscription delivered to me daily.
This also means I can share articles with whomever I want. No limits, no need to verify their email matches the account they want to use. I can even share entire sections with multiple people around me at the same time while I read a section of my own. I did all this literally faster than a bluetooth transfer.
By the way, you can share just part of an article too, or highlight, make annotations and drawings, or leave a note next to the part you want to share.
While I was getting on the plane, I thought nothing of shoving it into thin spaces without damaging the device. I could put it in the pouch in front of me, between seats or under heavy objects. There's no glass in the display, so it's vacuously unbreakable. Speaking of airplane mode, all of the data is synced to the device, so it's in permanent airplane mode.
The device is also made from 100% recycled materials and is so friendly to the environment, the entire thing can be composted or reused for different hobby projects, even as a training pad for a new puppy.
There is no protection plan needed for the device because the replacement cost is just a few dollars. And that's for a fully upgraded version.
Ad-blocking was flawless. Many ads could be permanently disabled because they came in a glossy consolidated insert that could be swiped away easily. Others lived on full pages that never moved the reading area out of view while reading because they were placed there statically in advance.