Assessing technology is not only for those who create technology but also for those who use and consume technology.
Recently I participated in an assignment that encouraged me to create my own idea or concept for new technology. It proved to be enlightening as well as challenging. It is not easy to create new technology when you don’t have a conscious understanding of how to assess or analyze the technology around you.
The purpose of analyzing technology is to not only to deconstruct the power but to discover the human connection to that particular technology. We tend to use technology in the “ground” state of mind. Meaning, we are not aware of the development or the components associated with the development of technology. Dr. Jason Ohler, author of Digital Community Digital Citizen, says "Technology is a fog. It covers its inventions, so when one gets close to them, they are seen clearly" (p. 94).
The goal of this blog post is to demonstrate how assessing the process of creating technology brings the purpose and use of technology into the “figure” state or working through the fog. Here, individuals can create better consumer habits.
I introduced the new technology idea that would allow for cell phones to be charged from a Watch or portable timepiece. It sounds like an interesting proposal but the only way to determine the validity of the idea is to assess or analyze the potential development of the technology.
The following is an outline associated with the assessment of the Cell Phone Charging Watch.
It's "Time" to take "Charge"!
1) Physical characteristic- this product would be designed as a watch with multiple purposes. It is functional as a timepiece, compass and cell phone charger. It will be worn on the wrist. It will have multiple “fashion” designs to appeal to the everyday user. Solar powered.
2) Enhancement- this device will allow for individuals to portably and wirelessly charge a cell phone. This will obsolete the need to be connected to electricity, car and computer in order to charge phone. The fact that it would be solar powered makes it a green and progressive technology.
3) Predecessors/next steps- this devise replaces or lessons the need for cumbersome wall chargers and the need to be connected. It advances the purpose of the Watch.
4) Social context- our society is ruled by convenience. This technology reduces the need for other technology that creates a “time” concern. But it does mean that people will spend more time connected to their cell phone device.
5) Biases- This product favors those who can afford it and are digital natives. Those who cannot afford it and those who are not connected to the advancement of technology are left out of the benefits of the technology.
6) Benefits- This product creates convenience and disconnects individuals from electricity. It creates new appreciation for the watch, as existing technology. This product can be fashionable. More Watches may be purchased.
7) Impacts- This product can disconnect people from the constant need to be plugged in for energy. This product will push forward with discovering the technology that can fit in the watch and be powerful enough to charge the cell phone. This power or energy can potentially be used to develop other technology. This product will connect people to their hand devices more often. This can be a good thing for those are on the run and need to stay connected to their communication device. Staying connected to device can be a bad thing as individuals can create more clutter and more fog in their lives.
Note: The watch will be made of biodegradable materials that will allow for the penetration of light to create a constant charge. It will be a combination of existing technology: time piece, and add the functionality of a USB port of some type that will allow for cell phones to connect with watch.Many designs of watches can be developed with a solar charging USB port. This product will be made in America with American ingenuity.
After taking a closer look at the watch design, it seems like this could work. But, more thought can and should go into the process. For example, after taking a closer look I see that I am actually flipping the technology. Adding the charging port to the watch may create a new reason to own and wear a watch. "Flipping" the original technology to create something new encourages new reason to be aware of the existing technology of the Watch.
Ohler, J. (2010). Digital community digial citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.