I hate technology.
I know it’s just terrible self-discipline, but when I see everyone walking to their commute in the morning with their heads in their screens (if I’m not doing it myself), it makes me realise that technology is trapping us rather than enabling us. However, I think this is something we can take back with a bit of effort and responsibility.
One of my biggest traps is getting the first bits of information for the day from my phone of a morning. This includes alarm clock, the weather forecast, and the real-time train updates. Somehow I find that when I go to check for these, I end up spending a moment to check my emails, reply to an SMS, and am then sucked in to the downward spiral that is my Facebook feed.
Technology has proliferated to the point that we can do almost anything imaginable when it comes to interactive consumer devices (smartphones, tablets, PCs and associated software). With so few boundaries, it becomes the responsibility of designers, makers and engineers to create things that will actually improve our quality of life, rather than provide the semblance of satisfaction. Instead of scratching the itch, the itch shouldn’t be there in the first place.
This is why I am aiming to get essential information onto a simple panel which has very little interaction, it just displays what you need and lets you get on with your day.
The basic idea is to have an alarm clock, a window displaying today’s local weather, the live train timetable, and maybe a list of tasks for the day, built onto a single layered window, with a single button for interaction. Data would be pulled using APIs and by synchronising with the user’s calendar.
No emails, texts or Facebook notifications. You shouldn’t have to interact with anyone outside of your home until you’ve left your home.