I want

Technology these days is fascinating. New advances every minute, and all marketed to look like it’s the next thing since sliced bread. And yet, in my mind, most of it is based on male fantasies born from sic-fi movies and James Bond. A watch you can use as a phone and will tell you how many steps you’ve walked? A chance to change your reality by wearing a pair of boxy glasses? A car that tells you when to turn, when to stop and how far until the next McDonald’s, all shown in the windshield? (Mind you, I really would like to have the ability to teleport. Having tea with my sister in Seattle and being home by dinnertime sounds quite lovely.)

Some of these things are practical and do make life easier. I love the idea of GPS, my anxieties about getting lost in a strange city have diminished enormously. And, since my eye sight is going, I don’t have to try to read the teeny tiny words on the Rand McNally street map anymore…while I am driving. I also love that I can put things into my calendar on my computer and they magically appear on my phone. So do the books I download. And I can’t do without the ability to find out any information I need simply by pressing a few buttons. Encyclopedia Britannica has nothing on Google. Don’t even talk to me about giving up my digital camera (or phone).

So what is it that I want? I want technological ideas to be selected by 50 + year old women. That’s when you will get super practical ideas on how technology can help with real life. Here are some suggestions.

1 . Envision this: You are sitting in the dentist’s office waiting to be seen. The dentist comes out to the reception area, sees you, smiles and says “Hey Virginia, how are you doing today?” You smile in response and freeze a little bit because for the life of you, you can’t come up with his name. The man who has been intimate with your mouth (so to speak) for 10 years and your brain draws a blank. So you say “I’m well, how are you?” and wonder if he notices that you didn’t call him by name.

What if you were wearing a pair of glasses that flashed his name on the screen in front of your eyes as your dentist walked up to you? Or what if it flashed the word that you all of a sudden can’t remember right in the middle of a sentence during a VIS (very important speech). What if it reminded you of your granddaughter’s boyfriend’s favorite band when you see him? Yup, I thought so. Forget virtual reality, I want virtual memory glasses.

2.  Envision this: you know you are losing your hearing but you don’t want to wear hearing aides. They make you look like you are deaf AND they don’t always help you to hear what you want to because they make everything louder. It’s fine when you are sitting with one person, but when you are in a crowd, then it is super confusing.

What if you had an invisible hearing aide that automatically understood what you wanted to hear and could block out the rest, or at least tone it down? Anyone who has ever been in a recording studio knows that it is possible to do this on recordings. Now we just need to have the technology that does this in real time.

3. Envision this: You are lying in bed all snuggly and warm when you start to feel a tingly feeling. “Shit” you think, “here it comes again”. The next thing you know, you have flung the covers off, thrown your nightgown as far across the room and started fanning yourself. Yup, it’s the dreaded hotflash. Then, a few minutes later, just as you are starting to feel comfortable, the heat dissipates and you are left shivering in the middle of the bed.

What if you had a sensor that knows when you are about to experience this and adjusts the climate control in your house? So, five minutes before a hot flash, the air-conditioning comes on and blows cool air in the room so that when the internal toaster oven turns on your room is nice and cool. Then it knows when to turn off the AC and turn the heat back on so that you son’t have to spend 10 minutes trying to find your nightgown and pulling the covers back on. This is much better than being able to change your climate control when you aren’t even home.

I’m sure I can come up with many more ideas…just give me some time. If you have your own suggestions I’d love to hear them!

From the studio:

In case you were wanting to know what’s happening in the studio, I am almost done with a sculpture, I have figured out what my next animal is (not telling) and I attended an opening reception of the National Juried Show at the Delaplaine in Frederick MD on Saturday. My piece, “BOUND”, was nicely placed for optimal viewing and got some really lovely comments.

Next up on the schedule, the open studio on the 21st and 22nd of May.

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