What’s Next

Posted on June 18, 2018


While Life in the Boomer Lane wrestles with any technology requiring more than an “On” and “Off” switch, the folks at AARP are discovering even newer ways to confuse her. In the latest issue of AARP Bulletin, an article titled “What’s Next” details all of the ways technology is racing ahead of what human brain cells can grasp. Here are some innovations to look forward to:

Your home guards itself while you are away. This is done via a garage. No mention of what happens if people don’t have garages, or, in the case of LBL, don’t place cars on their garage.  LBL is thinking there might be a virtual pit bull involved, but she isn’t sure.

Your bed will be smarter. LBL can’t imagine a bed any smarter than the one she      already has. Her side of the bed usually makes sure it is vacant when she is ready to use it. It has a mattress and that mattress is large enough to accommodate herself and Now Husband, at least until LBL starts flinging her body around during the night. Next to her bed is a reading light with only an “On” and “Off” switch. And Now Husband doesn’t seem to mind when LBL turns it on, in spite of the fact that it does seem to light up the entire bed area to a Broadway opening Night wattage.

But these new-age beds detailed in the article leave LBL’s bed in the dust. They adjust for “comfort, support, temperature, lighting and ambient noise.”  They also know when to wake you up, although LBL doesn’t know if they can tell you what kind of day you are about to have.  If they could do that, as well as arranging it so that one would have a great day with no password issues, LBL would be standing it line to get that mattress.

A smart kitchen will make it easier to cook.  LBL admits to not reading this section very carefully, as her kitchen, a very sparse and vintage affair, is already way smarter than she is. It is so smart, in fact, that she tends to avoid it entirely, aside from heating her coffee or taking her pills.  She can do so because Now Husband told her when he moved in that “This kitchen is mine.”  LBL responded that those were the sexiest words any man had ever said to her.

She imagines that kitchens of the future will prep the food, time the food precisely when cooking, and slap one’s hand when the person in the kitchen tries to eat massive amounts of chocolate chip cookie dough, instead of actually baking the cookies. She also imagines blinking neon lights on the calorie count of all cartons of coffee Haagen Dazs. All of this sounds quite tedious to LBL, as well as being no fun at all.  LBL needs a kitchen that doesn’t record all of the times during the day that she forages around in the refrigerator and pantry, looking for fun things to eat, or yelling “Damn!” when she doesn’t find anything.

We’ll be rooming with robots.  These robots will keep houses immaculate and will patrol the house when owners are away. They will also answer the door when Jehovah’s Witnesses knock and will issue clever responses to their requests so that they never return again.

(Readers Note: LBL has nothing against Jehovah’s. She believes that they, like members of all other religions on the planet, have the right to exist. She just wants them to stop distributing The Watchtower, a pamphlet showing God’s prediction of the world going up in flames.  We are doing a pretty good job of that ourselves, without the aid of God.)

Household objects will multi-task.  This is another section that LBL didn’t read, as it was all too confusing. She can’t imagine that anything in her house would want to do anything other than what it was designed to do. She, personally, would not want a lightbulb to talk to her or a floor mop to suddenly leap into the sink and start doing dishes. She would, on the other hand, appreciate fruits and vegetables peeling themselves and wet spots on the floor wiping themselves up before she steps on them while she is wearing only socks. Better yet, she would appreciate socks that didn’t get wet when she stepped on a wet spot on the floor.

Your voice will diagnose your health.  LBL isn’t sure why this is news. Her voice diagnoses her health on a regular basis. She leaps out of bed during the night, shrieking “Leg cramp!” or “Foot cramp!” She is also known to yell “Back spasm!” and “Where are my f-ing glasses?!” when the need arises. She is sure the article means something other than this, but she is perfectly content with the way she is doing things now.

Surgeons will operate using holograms of you.  Here’s one item that seriously catches LBL’s attention, especially if she can be home watching General Hospital, while the surgeon operates on her hologram in the OR.

Clothes will heal people. LBL assumed that this would be in addition to the emotional healing LBL experiences when buying cute clothing she doesn’t actually need. These clothes will “detect heart attacks, send emergency alerts and location, and administer CPR.” LBL loves the idea of this, although she can’t imagine what would happen in the event of a malfunction, if her clothing started pressing into her chest when she was out in public.

“Smart shoes will use sensors to track body weight, heart weight, blood pressure, and activity.”  Suits will help people walk and will improve posture.”

At no point in this article did LBL note any technology that would allow her to be several inches taller or ride a bike.  Neither did she find any technology that would make passwords appear in her brain when needed. Better yet, technology that would eliminate the need for passwords entirely.  Or keys. or cell phones. Or people’s names. Or the difference between right and left. Or anything else that LBL uses on a daily basis.

She’s waiting.