Boredom is the normal condition of the a large majority of inhabitants of the American population. As a result the entertainment industry is one of the dominant forces in the American economy. Keep people entertained and money flows. It’s what capitalism evolves into when it runs out of ways to make things that actually make people’s lives better.
The concept of the smartphone, a market dominated by Apple and Samsung is a prime example here. Samsung has just released a new version of its Galaxy line of phones, and here are some comments on the phone’s attributes (using that term in a non-pejorative manner).
For example, there is this about what the phone is supposed to do.
Mr. Park emphasized that the phone's software development was driven by four key requirements that Samsung research found consumers most desired: The phone had to be fun, encourage closer relationships, offer convenience and help improve health and wellness.
No people, what consumers do desire, or should desire the most is that the phone allows one to talk with someone else. Really, that is the very concept of a phone, it is why it exists. It replaces shouting (which is distance limited). It’s not supposed to be fun, the way a saw or a tire jack or a chair is not supposed to be fun.
And what’s this about encouraging closer relationships? If the person is physically close to you, you don’t need a phone. You can talk directly to them. It’s called conversation. A phone cannot bring people closer together, it will not move any objects. Again, let’s repeat the point, a phone is to allow two people to talk to each other. That’s it. Oh, here’s the main relationship application.
The main feature illustrating the relationship category was a tool that translated emails, text and Samsung chat messages.
Translates into what? Do you really have a relationship with anyone who does not speak the same language as you do? How did you get the relationship in the first place?
And how exactly does a phone improve health and wellness? Oh, here’s one way.
One called "Beauty Face" was supposed to make you look better by doing things like slimming your face automatically.
No, if you need to be thinner you need to diet, to lose weight. Slimming your face in a picture is not going to improve anything. If your face looks fat it is because it is fat. And this,
The health category seems promising. Samsung developed an app called "S Health" that lets you track your walking through a sensor. If you input the food you eat, it spits out a caloric counter. The app was designed to work with accessories as well, including a body scale, heart-rate monitor and a wearable wrist sensor called an "S band."
implies that the problem with our health is that we don’t know what we are eating. Here’s a thought. If you eat an ice cream sundae you will ingest a lot of calories and if you do it a lot you will get fat. You don’t need a smart phone to tell you that. If anything you need a smart phone that will reach out and slap the spoon that is about to dip into the sundae out of your hand. Hey Samsung, let us know when your phone will do that, then maybe we’ll be interested or impressed.