Tech Companies Looking to Replace More Simple, Effective Tools with Complicated, Expensive Smart Technology That Never Works

Doorstop: Easy to program

HouzSecure, a Silicon Valley start-up that made a splash last year with release of its smart door opener, says it’s launching other products that never work, are hard to program, and increase the chances people’s account numbers will be sold to criminal enterprises around the world.

“Our smart door opener showed people, while they’re at work or on vacation, the freedom of having their home security system hacked by someone in Poland and their data sold to someone in Russia,” HouzSecure CEO Hunter Duncan said. “What we want to do now is take other overly simplistic and reliable household devices, like doorstops, and replace them with smart technology that no one will know how to use a and unintentionally acts like a beacon to hackers around the world to come in and make a grab for your personal information.”

Duncan said doorstops, which are simple spring-mounted posts with rubber tips attached to the wall to prevent damage when doors are swung open with too much force, don’t offer the kind of scalable solution that his company plans to introduce this spring. “What our SmartStop® will offer is a seamless answer to the question, ‘Is there a more complicated way to stop a door from banging into the wall?'”

Sensors in the SmartStop® doorstop will gauge how much force the door was opened with and match that force with the exact amount of counterforce, creating a door opening experience that’s unlike anything that can be provided with yesterday’s analog technology, Duncan said. “Preventing your door from banging into the wall will never be the same,” he said.

Towels: remote included

Another company, jRY, offers “moisture-responsive” towels to create “a new kind of hand and body drying experience.” The company’s line of wic-dryTowels® use sensors woven into the fabric to gauge how wet your skin surface is and adjusts the fabric’s patented responsive wic-dry technology based on how much moisture needs to be absorbed.

“Today’s towels simply consist of absorbent fabric, usually cotton,” says Andrew McNeely, CEO of jRY, based in Palo Alto, Calif. “It doesn’t matter if your hands are really wet or only a little wet, the fabric doesn’t know the difference. Think of how much better it is if your towel is doing your thinking for you and says, in effect, ‘This is a little wet, so I’m only going to need to do a little absorbing to get you dry.'”

As a bonus, the sensors that collect the moisture data also send it to a cloud storage system so that you can see at a glance how wet your hands typically get when you wash them. “You’ll be able to see valuable trends that can help you dry yourself more efficiently over time,” he said. “Do you get more wet while washing during the summer versus the winter? Now you can get helpful ideas for saving water. Maybe you don’t need to wash your hands every time you peel an orange; maybe you can use a sanitizing solution instead. The point is, you’re now armed with data you weren’t before.”

The company also touts its environmental consciousness by promising to use 1 percent of its revenue from towel sales to help remove the heavy metals contamination they cause when people throw out the towels in the regular trash. “You’re not just buying a towel,” McNeely says. “You’re buying a partnership for a cleaner tomorrow.”

Learn about other companies disrupting useful, effective ways of doing things by replacing them with expensive, complicated solutions that no one can get to work properly in a new report, Is Your Life a Living Hell Yet? Give Us Five More Years, from the American Smart Design Consortium.

This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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