Does THAT Really Need to be Automated?

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I love technology. Really, really love it. I spent Valentine’s Day with my gadgets, instead of with my boyfriend. Don’t worry, he’s already forgiven me. I think. Anyway, back to my love of technology; I’m into wearable tech, smart tech, home automation tech, edible tech (OK, I made that one up…but it could be the future). I can’t get enough, especially of home automation tech. At least, I’ve always thought that I can’t get enough. But what if I CAN get enough? What if one day I wake up and see something new and shiny on the market and instead of throwing my money at it, I think “does THAT really need to be automated?”

One of the things that has me wondering this right now is smart water. No, not the kind in a bottle. The kind where the devices that control your water guilt trip you about how much water you are using. Automated sprinklers are nothing new, and they are certainly useful, but smart irrigation is stepping up its game and releasing products that detect and control your water flow.

In addition, there are now, or will be soon, faucets and shower heads that report, to you during use, how much water you are using. This will be done with the use of LED lights, with the displayed color corresponding to usage. Of course, there is an accompanying app that allows you to track your water usage in depth.

Now, I can recognize how this tech could be a good thing. Really, I get it. There are droughts and water conservation is a serious subject. I’m not trying to debate those issues at all. I’m just wondering, if this is the direction we’re heading with smart tech and automation: what will be next? I suppose that depends on which issues you think are most important. Obviously water conservation is getting a lot of attention lately; Colgate even dedicated a full Super Bowl spot to the issue, abandoning showing any product at all. Those spots are expensive, so the message about the issue being serious has been received. The problem with a product like this is that tech isn’t always accepted, or accessible, to the masses. The reality is that the people that would get this product, and can afford it, probably aren’t the people that need it; they are likely already conscious of their water usage, and actively cutting use. So, while I appreciate the efforts that are being made to use tech to conquer some of Earth’s biggest problems, I also hope that one day these small products have a bigger chance of making a difference.

I hope the day that I give new, smart tech the stink eye never comes, but I have to say that I’m nervous since I’m already thinking about when it might. For now, I’ll stay positive and excitable, and continue to look forward to the latest and greatest advancements, and how they can make my life easier (unless you’re talking about my relationship!), and how they can improve the world as a whole.

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Julie is totally technology driven. She is an early adapter, getting the newest devices first and loves seeing how they work. She is the first one called when her friends need help setting up networks, new computer systems, printers and cool home automation devices. She loves being the token "dork" in her group of friends.

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