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Have you ever had this brilliant idea that made you think that this time you’re going to open a company, start to sell your idea, turn your work into passion and get a lot of money?
And then, when you started to dig in, it turned out that this idea was already invented! And even worse, there is already competition on this field, as others have also picked up the same concept!
It happened to me several times already. Once I thought I’ve just come up with the original idea and people will fall in love with it, but it turned out that there are multiple projects on Kickstarter already.
And if you take a look at Kickstarter, you might come to the conclusion that whatever you’re going to come up with, it’s already there. A razor with heated blades for the perfect shave? Check. A beer distributor that uses your fingerprint to access beer in the fridge? Check. A wearable, anti-snore application? Check.
People are creative and like to invent new things to make life easier. Sounds great, right?
But the problem is, humans also tend to be lazy. Let's take the invention of cars, for example; we find it difficult to take a walk to the shop, even if it’s nearby. We eat instant meals-on-the-go because cooking is so difficult and it takes too much time. We don’t meet our friends face to face because we can hang out with them on Facebook.
In today’s post, I’m presenting five new product ideas that will make you lose faith in humanity.
#1. Self-lacing sneakers
While I understand that shoe lacing can be difficult for three-year-olds, I find it odd that grown-ups are willing to pay to have their laces tied automatically. I mean, how difficult is it to bend and tie them up? I guess for many people it’s the only exercise they do.
At first, I thought that magnetic shoe closures are a really bad idea, but I had to change my mind once I saw the newest Nike invention. On November the 28th, they will start to sell HyperAdapt 1.0, self-lacing sneakers. Here’s how it works according to Wired:
Each shoe has a sensor, battery, motor, and cable system that adjusts fit based on an algorithmic pressure equation. When a foot is inserted, the shoe tightens automatically until it senses friction points. There are a pair of buttons near the tongue to adjust the fit as needed. That such high-tech shoes, with a likely (though still TBD) high price tag to match, would be desirable in a country that spends billions a year on sneakers was almost taken for granted.
I understand that “Back to the Future” fans would like to possess such sneakers, but I hope that no one will be willing to pay that much to simply never lace their shoes again.
#2. Smart bedmaker
Smart bedmaker is in the same category of products self-lacing shoes are: they’re products for lazy ones.
Here’s how it works: you buy a bed, use the special pillows and duvet, and every morning you wake up, this bed is making itself in less than 60 seconds! Isn’t it great?!
But wait, it means you’ve just bought an expensive piece of furniture so you can save up to 60 seconds every morning. Is it that difficult to make a bed?
I wonder what kind of future awaits us if we’re supposed to raise future generations, but at the same time, we cannot do such a simple task!
Alright, so here it is a new, wearable device that turns your thumbnail into a miniature, wireless trackpad.
What for, you might ask. Well, researchers at the MIT Media Lab thought it would be a good idea to make it easier to scroll and browse through the internet while… doing something else.
For example, you might want to use it when you’re cooking and you want to scroll down to see the rest of the recipe while not touching your laptop or smartphone.
It looks really slow, uncomfortable and ridiculous, but there is another way to make good use of this product.
NailO was inspired by the colorful stickers that people apply to their nails as a form of self-expression and style. The researchers envision the device could be extremely personable and therefore feel more like an extension of your body.
Many tech geeks are looking for a way to enchant your surrounding with a single gesture. But maybe instead of spending time and money on inventing new products, we could just use the old-fashioned way - with our hands.
#4. Self-parking chairs
Have you ever thought about how much time it takes to place the chair back to your desk? Me neither.
That’s why you might be surprised if I tell you that Nissan programmed chairs with their auto-parking system, so you don’t have to worry about a messy office ever again!
The ridiculousness of this idea was well described by Noel Sharkey, professor of artificial intelligence and robotics at University of Sheffield:
The automation is designed to make us all very fat by not being able to do anything by ourselves anymore. For somebody like me, I’m a tricky person from the north of Ireland, and I’d be up to playing tricks all the time.
#5. Driving supermarket
Among all the bad inventions I saw, this one just crossed the line of human laziness.
Why is a driving supermarket so awful? Because, well, you don’t have to move a lot. Everything you have to do is to get up of your couch, go to your car and drive.
While I understand that such solution would be useful for pregnant women or disabled people, I’m also quite sure that others would use it too.
And why do I think it’s such a bad idea? Because it looks like humans are progressing towards laziness at an unbelievable pace.
Where are we heading to?
If you’ve listened to my interview with Lute Atieh from the American Business & Technology University, you probably remember that we were talking about the future of our society.
According to Lute, we should be afraid of losing self-reliance if we let technology take care of all our tasks. In other words, as long as we don’t have to do anything because there is a machine or service that will do it for us, we won’t feel the need to learn it.
I have millennial friends that don’t know how to fry an egg properly; they just don’t learn and do not know how to cook. I learned to cook when I was growing up because there were no gaming consoles in the house and we had one computer. So a few generations from now, they are going to be completely useless without the technology.
The development of technology will also affect relations between humans. Lute claims that we already forget how to talk to each other and that one day it will be easier to have a relation with a machine than with another person.
It seems like it’s already happening as on Kickstarter has appeared the “Love Greater,” a virtual relationship guide. Did we already forget how to talk to each other?
The lessons in this course have been created to guide you and your partner through many of the biggest questions and concerns that come with pursuing a long-term, intimate relationship.
So, since new products are invented to make our life easier, one day a geomagnetic storm might hit the Earth and damage the technology we’re working and living with. What would happen then? Would you be able to survive without the Internet and your smartphone?
As long as we remember how to take care of ourselves and don’t entrust every task to machines, I still see a long, bright future ahead of us.
Image credit: Miz Mooz via Youtube.