Tech Trends in 2018 I Don’t Understand

Hello there,

4.20 will be here in 2 days, but I hope the month of April has had you feeling high since 4.1.

Today’s post is about… well, as the title suggests, certain trends in consumer technology that I just do not understand. The inspiration for this post was a passing thought I had on the state of smartwatches about a week ago, after a few weeks of chatter on tech. social media and blogs about the Fitbit Versa – the newest smartwatch attempt from Fitbit. It led me to think about a few other phenomena in consumer tech. that I have found to be mind-boggling, a lot of what I write below are said in jest and is meant to get you thinking.

Let’s get started!

  1. Smartwatches

    Source: Apple.com

    Quick! If you had to come up with a few reasons as to why you would find a smartwatch useful, what would they be? I’ll give you 10 seconds.

    Emails? Social media notifications? Text/call functions? GPS? Fitness-tracking capabilities? Did any of them come up?

    Look, I appreciate impressive gadgets as much as the next individual, but when it comes to smartwatches, there is a major shortcoming despite the ambitious goals of various smartwatch manufacturers: abysmal battery life.

    As the number of functions continue to increase, and as the technology involved continue to mature, smartwatches have evolved from a complementary accessory to something that could arguably replace smartphones due to the many overlapping capabilities (for some people).

    However, unlike most of the other smart gadgets, the size of a typical smartwatch also happens to be its major drawback: to squeeze that much tech. into something that can be worn on the wrist, something had to give. Because so many people now take for granted of many of the functions that can be found in a smartwatch, it would be practically suicide for a manufacturer to remove any of them. Compromises would have to be made, and it usually means more limitation on the size of the battery within a smartwatch, which directly relates to battery capacity, and thus, battery life.

    The two main smartwatch manufacturers – Apple and Samsung – are on their third iteration of their respective smartwatch series (Watch 3 and Gear S3). Apple advertises a battery life of up to 18 hours (make your own conclusion here), while Samsung advertises a battery life of a more reasonable 3 – 4 days for its most advanced/expensive smartwatch, the Gear S3 Frontier (per usual, very much dependent on usage, e.g., if you plan to keep that GPS turned on and push notifications enabled, be prepared to locate the nearest electric outlet soon).

  2. Detached Wireless Earphones

    You have seen them, they are a growing epidemic, they look anywhere from cumbersome to absolutely stupid when worn, they sound worse than earphones that are actually attached, and if you lose one of them, congratulations on throwing away that $250.

    AirPods (Source: Macworld.com)
    Back Black
    Gear IconX (Source: Samsung.com)

    Someone please stop this madness.

  3. Smart Home Speakers

    Privacy issues aside, have we really become so lazy that we can’t even bother to do a simple web search or add to our personal to-do lists on our phones anymore?

    Google Home Smart Speaker (Source: DigitalTrends)

    Also, what if the AI assistant that the smart home speaker relies on is… lacking in having smarts? *cough* Apple HomePod *cough* What if the smart home speaker doesn’t have an AUX port and thus can’t be used with any conventional audio devices, like, you know, an AUX-capable phone?

  4. Screen Notches on Smartphones

    Asus Zenfone 5 & the iPhone X (Source: theverge.com)

    iPhone X, The Essential Phone, upcoming Huawei devices, the upcoming OnePlus 6,
    the upcoming LG G7, the list goes on.

    Why can’t more smartphone manufacturers take the approach that Samsung has taken with both the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S9? Where there are no ugly notches while still maintaining a slim bezel around the screen.

    Samsung Galaxy S9 (Source: theverge.com)
  5. YouTube Reaction Videos

    This one probably takes the cake…

    Maybe I’m old school, but what’s with all the reaction videos on YouTube? Reactions to songs, to music videos, to movies, to other reaction videos… Based on your own experience, how many of those reaction videos are genuine initial reactions? How many are actually rehearsed? Are we that desperate to go viral nowadays?

    *Deep Breath*

 

Until next time (coming up soon, lol), don’t forget to unplug, we’ll Randezvous again!

 

R.L.

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