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Getting smarter, ready or not

From the Spring 2019 edition

Consumers know smart technology is coming, in fact it’s here and it’s not going away. But adapting to smart technology is happening a little slower than the people who make it and sell it would like it happen. Canadians are currently satisfied with what they got.

After all, if you are a technophobic who never figured out how to set the correct time on your VCR − and you are not alone − the idea you can cook dinner using a phone app while sitting in meeting at the office or use voice commands to turn on your entertainment system when you get home may be beyond comprehension. And what happens when the power goes out, the internet crashes or you drop your phone in the toilet?

And some people are reluctant to organize their lives from their phone because they fear Big Brother and Sister may be watching. After all, grandma had no idea signing up for a Facebook account to look at pictures of grandchildren could lead to the potential downfall of Western democracy.

I hope you will enjoy reading out Get Smart section, which starts on Page 15. Whether you are an early adaptor or a laggard when it comes to the latest gadgets, the next products you purchase will have some smart features whether or not you are ready for them.

Smart clothes are available to monitor your athletic performance and heart rate. New ovens, outfitted with cameras and digital thermometers, are available to help monitor food as it bakes. Smart skillets take away the guess work by sizzling food at a precise temperature which can be set on a connected app. Smart refrigerators reduce waste by letting you know when the carrots are about to go bad and offer recipes on how to use them. There is a smart fridge made that will send cooking instructions to your smart oven.

When it comes to personal care, the latest technology in electrical toothbrushes connect sensors in the brush head with an app on your phone, giving you personalized feedback on your brushing technique. The app lets you track your progress and share the information with the dentist. The smart location sensor can also remind you to brush.

A smart shower device sets temperature and water flow as well as music and mood lighting. There are toilets in Japan that can perform a urinalysis and inform people whether or not they have diabetes .Toilets may soon be able to tell women they are pregnant by analyzing urine. Kohler’s Numi toilet seat includes an integrated foot warmer, heated seat, deodorizer, air dryer, bidet, motion-activated cover and seat, and an illuminated touchscreen panel with support for MP3 music playback.

This is all great, but do we really need this stuff? Instead of smart appliances, driverless cars and Numi toilets, I wish all this R&D would be channeled for really important things: ending poverty, famine and disease. I’m just saying.


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