LG have just announced a smart fridge at IFA in Berlin – integrating Windows 10 into a touchscreen panel on the door… Seems like after 5 years, tech companies have not learnt the real lesson about innovation.
You may have seen me get irate about this before – Samsung’s Galaxy Camera way back in 2012, for example – but the big guys really don’t seem to get it, so I will make it simple.
Innovation is not just bolting a computer onto something.
A product is not only defined by what it has but what it doesn’t have – and giving people the opportunity to browse the web and even create word documents on their fridge door is one of the most pointless ideas I’ve ever heard.
And don’t blame my old age on this. Blame the fact that chances are you will forget about it completely in the face of using…oh, I don’t know… A laptop? A tablet? A smartphone?
I get it, though – stuff like this works well on a product spec sheet in your local Currys PC World. However, even though new technology trains people to new forms of interaction, using your Fridge as a computer will never be one of those new trained interactions.
So in the pissing contest of pointless features, it seems that LG pips the post this time, but enough is enough. I’ve rallied against this needlessness for nearly five years and nothing is being done.
Please preserve the focus of your products, and use technology to enhance that – don’t just tack it on for the sake of it being there.
Because in the end, you’re hurting the smaller but more important innovations of your products. The sticky timers you can attach to products in the fridge, so you can see when they go out of date is a lifesaver, which will be lost in the noise.
Focus first – you’ll win me and many more people back.
I get it. We’re all scared in the wake of the tragedy in Westminster last Wednesday. Khalid Masood’s actions in committing this atrocity are truly reprehensible. But digital communication is not at fault, and adding an Orwellian level of surveillance is not the answer.
Broadband problems? Under new Ofcom proposals, you will no longer have to “fight tooth and nail” for the “fair compensation” you are owed. If approved, Internet Service Providers will automatically have to pay customers for bad broadband, delayed repairs and missed engineer appointments.
A car that rises up to drive over traffic… Sounds like a dream, right? Well, it is I’m afraid. While the Hum Rider is a real car, it’s simply a marketing stunt for Verizon.
Sex toys have taken another step forward with the Flashlight Launch - a masturbation machine that takes all the manual arm work out of reaching climax.
Snapchat story clones are cropping up everywhere in Facebook-owned apps and it’s not necessary. Would you ever want to post the same story across four different platforms? Or course not.
What is the future of wearables? I went to The Wearable Technology Show and found out - writing for BBC Science Focus magazine.
Forget everything you knew about smart homes and the Legend of Zelda… One particular fan has managed to create a home automation system that is controlled by playing the Ocarina.
Following the instant success of Pokémon GO in summer 2016, rumours began that developer Niantic was working on another game – simply named Harry Potter GO. This is fake news, so please stop sharing it.
A team of researchers have done something incredible yet terrifying - using sound waves to hack a smartphone, using a method that could be used to theoretically control any technology with an accelerometer.
I get it - the headline sounds terrifying. But Switzerland’s EPFL has just invented a medical masterpiece that could help to reinvent robotic healthcare. These gelatinous machines could soon be crawling around your insides and performing operations.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.