The Disappearing Computer

02023-05-17 | Computer, Phone | 1 comment

The disappearing computer — and a world where you can take AI everywhere

Imran Chaudhri | TED Talk

I have watched this talk a couple of times and love the idea. I see two large hurdles, even if the device works flawlessly. The first is the biggest point of friction for me… how to get sound into and out of the device, the microphone and the speaker. My ears don’t like things shoved into them anymore. They don’t even like headphones on top of the ears anymore. It’s a huge bummer. My ears get infected and I on this recent tour had to shove in ear monitors into them anyway, every night for at least 90 minutes. I made appointments with several ENTs but many are booked months in advance. I followed the advice to mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil and put a few drops of that mixture into my ears. I didn’t expect much success but was willing to try anything because once the infection goes deeper into the ear canal it can become dangerous. I need my ears. I did the tea tree oil treatment and I also put my ear down on a towel covering an ice pack. The cold felt good. This morning my ears are a lot better. I was surprised as I didn’t think it would work and expected to have to find a doctor who would prescribe some kind of steroid creme to me, to combat the infection. While I seem on the mend now, I am clearly not excited to put things into my ear even when I am not working. And the device shown in the above linked talk clearly requires some kind of in ear thing to work… unless we get a tooth implant with microphone and speaker built in????

The second problem I see is that people actually love the distraction a screen provides. Waiting to board a plane, waiting in line for coffee, waiting for a meeting or an appointment: out come the devices!! Looking around after my flight home landed I noticed that nearly everyone had their phones out. Some contacted the people who would pick them up at the airport but in many cases Facebook and Instagram timelines were scrolled and scrolled and scrolled…. 

Maybe there is a third problem, the fact the phone is such a Swiss Army Knife: phone, camera, notebook, book library, flashlight… 

I can’t wait to find out where Humane will take this idea. I find myself cheering them on despite wondering whether it can work.

1 Comment

  1. anne

    Ottmar- you should consider going to an emergency center at a hospital or a drop in clinic.
    Yes- may be a long wait – but it is worth it. Get a MD to look into your ear/s.


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