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Our Top Three Pointless Smart-Devices

With this year drawing to a swift close, and with our refreshed objectives of purpose-driven product design, successfully executed, highlighted through this article are products that slightly contrast this intention. Connecting a device to an application certainly has its perks, however, the question has to be asked when observing some of these devices, is this additional feature completely necessary? Its seems as if many new ‘smart-devices ‘have been created simply for the sake of it and that the addition of an application adds very little value or purpose to product.

The first device exposed for its unwarranted smart features is Bimcam. The idea behind this product is to take a photograph every time the users bin is opened or closed, in order to uncover what has been thrown away. These photographs are then published to the users social media page, in order to reveal their wastage and shame them into being more considerate of their recycling habits and the waste they produce. Not only does this device fill your newsfeed with unwanted content, but pilots a recycling-scheme through embarrassment and unethical snooping. While the aim of this product is clear, the way in which the data is handled is somewhat questionable and undesirable.

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When merging footwear and smart technology, a tracking fitness feature or step monitoring function may be comprehended. However, something that definitely shouldn’t be encouraged is tedious promotional content sent straight from the users flip-flip.These flip-flops from Hari Mari have been designed to keep their lucky users up to date on various discounts, deals and special offers. A technique used by the company to bombard their customers with various, unwanted spam emails, that generally people want to avoid. These flip-flop also collect data from their users, generating direct target marketing emails. It seems as if big brother has now invaded something as humble as the generic flip flop.

To conclude, the lonely Christmas tree is the final product to make the completely pointless list. This device was created through the realisation that Christmas trees may be slightly lonely throughout the day when no one is home.  To ease this loneliness, the tree is connected to a power switch tail which allows the user to safely control the ac current from an Arduino. An ethernet shield is then used to connect the device to the internet. The tree is then programmed to light up whenever an email is received, to ensure the Christmas tree has plenty of interaction. With all the emotions of a Christmas tree considered, the quirkiness of this device must be admired even though it is completely pointless!

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