My 5 Top Tech Wishes – by Cinnamon Sunrise
Ahh, technology. As someone born in 1984, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that the internet has had on – well, everything!
I first met my husband on AOL Instant Messenger! I travelled around the USA by crashing on the couches of people I had met on an internet forum. And my first real job was for a startup video game company that employed people based all around the world.
I would call myself a digital native. And yet… I still get frustrated and confused.
I have woefully accepted that I will never understand the point of snapchat. I have felt unease when I consider the environmental impact of all my electronics. And I’ve quit social media for months at a time, in a bid to stop myself from comparing my life to everyone else ‘highlight reel’.
I don’t think tech can solve every problem in the world. But there are a few it could solve. Here are five things I wish some Silicon Valley whiz-kid would get around to inventing!
1. A universal charger
In my house we have: two smartphones, a laptop, two Canon cameras, a PS3, a kindle, a gaming computer, a Nintendo DS, two fitbits, and an android tablet.
Almost every single one of these things takes a different charger. Even the two Canon cameras have batteries that are different shapes, requiring two similar and yet subtly different chargers.
It feels like someone should have invented a universal charger by now. It would make packing to go on holiday so much easier!
2. Electronic paper
I love making handwritten notes. I do all my diary keeping and planning on paper. I make notes in every meeting I go to, and I don’t want to do it on a laptop or tablet. It puts a barrier between me and the people I’m meeting with, and it’s distracting.
But, I actually would like to save those handwritten notes to my computer. I would love to sync my paper diary and my electronic one. I would love to scribble a reminder for myself, and have it added to my to-do list.
This is something people are working on – so you never know, it could become a reality!
3. A proactive ‘fitness’ tracker
I have a fitbit, and it’s awesome. It tracks my steps, it buzzes to remind me to move, and it tells me how well I sleep.
What I really want is a tracker that can assess that data and knows when I’m about to go off the rails.
A bit of context: I suffer from depression. Like many people, I’ve learned over the years what signals the approach of an episode of low mood. Erratic sleeping patterns, for example, and lack of movement. An inability to focus. A persistent sense of fatigue.
And yet, I don’t always put two and two together and take the necessary steps to stop the downward spiral. A fitness tracker that could spot the symptoms and prompt some appropriate intervention would be awesome. It could suggest I email my counsellor to re-start my sessions. It could remind me to contact my friends and invite them over for low-key evening of board games. It could suggest I stock up on healthy freezer meals, knowing that I won’t have the energy to cook everything from scratch.
I’m sure with all the fitness trackers out there, something like this isn’t far away.
4. A way to search and rank products in the supermarket
You know how when you shop online you can order by price, or by best-sellers, or by best deals? And you can filter by brand, or by colour? I would love something like that when I go grocery shopping in real life. I want to be able to filter so I only see fairtrade items. Or so I only see vegetables that have been grown locally. Then I want to order that filtered list by price!
I have no idea how this would work in reality, and yet it would be so useful. There are many times I’ve tossed the 0% yoghurt into my trolley instead of the full-fat yoghurt.
And as long as I’m dreaming? I would love to have a ‘buy again’ list for my staples – I could push a button and things I buy every week would land in my trolley.
(I should probably just shop online. But my supermarket is only a 10 minute walk from me…)
5. A teleporter/transporter
My husband is from Ohio, in the USA. I’m from Oxford, in the UK. Our marriage has been an interesting journey of visa applications and long-distance travel. And, no matter which country we settle in, we will have family 5,000 miles away. There is a real loss here – yes, we make sure to travel and visit every year. But we end up missing birthdays, weddings, and the birth of nephews and nieces. Looking ahead, I know that as our parents age, we will have to make hard choices about how often we see them.
It’s true that a teleporter is something out of Star Trek, and unlikely to be invented any time soon! Yet every time I climb into a cramped aeroplane seat I cannot help but long for a button I could press and – pop – appear where I needed to be.
Failing all the above? I’ll take some more friendly people to chat with on twitter 🙂
Suzie is a project manager by day, a blogger by night. On her blog she shares lessons about how to deal with life like a grown-up.
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