Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ponderings about my Summer of Love with a Feature Phone

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I'm fed up with the emphasis on user interfaces.  There is no face in interface so why do we use this term? It should be as natural and fluid and pliable and unique as the carbon based life form using it. An extension of the natural state of that particular user.  As I went on a run with my dog, who has now replaced my husband in these discussions, we talked about the exclusivity and narrow mindedness that us humans have. Louie, my dog shared that HCI is discriminatory. CBLFI is the new black. Really. Why can't my shoes realize I'm running and start to record my pace and location. Why do I have to press every hamburger and kebab menu to find the feature that I want? Why can't it just know what I want? And Louie's two cents- "Why can't my location chip message my owner so that they can feed me whenever I am hungry?"  But, being part labrador, that sensor would be going off every 10 seconds.

Most of this conversation has been spurred with my experience over the past summer with a feature phone after my iPhone 6 was lost in China. I lost it twice during the summer and the hotel in Shanghai was kind enough to send it to me in Beijing. I lost it the second time because I was only using it as a camera and not needing it for ALL THOSE LIFE CHANGING pings! What a vacation it has been! I can ignore texts, emails, phone calls and all sorts of invasions on my concentration and focus. Having a feature phone is freeing, liberating and exhilarating! But it was not what I needed for documenting my summer in China and it wasn't helpful in returning emails that may lead me to employment. Now, I wanted something different, unique, intriguing, complex, sexy, no more easy and helpful, hum-drum, run-of-the-mill. So I ditched the iphone and bought a XiaoMi 5. Which leaves me to the beginning of this post. Android does bring me back to the days of excel, lotus 1-2-3, dbase 3 and DOS commands, just tap on the correct dot or dash and hunt and find the feature you want.....while my head collapses into my chest and I need a walking CPAP machine. I want my surround sound, voice and thought activated xterface, that puts me, the user, in control. I want my MTV. Motion, tele-optical and voice, a machine that interacts with me on my terms and in a way I most naturally communicate with other carbon based life forms, you know, like, in the old days, when you met face to face.

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