Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

December 14, 2013

Smart gear is taking over


Hendricks County Flyer

---- — A few years ago, the only “smart” things I knew of were the mouths of my teenagers, a pack of “Smarties” candy, the television show “Get Smart” and my husband’s pants.

Smarty pants — get it? Never mind.

Today, I took some pictures, posted them online, made a few calls, downloaded some files for work, researched information for a story I’m working on, e-mailed a client, and crushed a few candies. I did all of this on my phone while waiting in line at the bank.

What does that tell you? That’s right; the line at the bank was pretty darn long and I’m addicted to Candy Crush.

Besides that, however, it should tell you that I have a “Smart Phone.”

Or do I?

I might have a smart watch, or a smart ring, or a smart bra.

Just kidding. All of those these new smart devices can’t do all those things … yet. But they do all exist in this world; which is frightening.

Smart watches are hot right now and just in time for the holiday season. I assume tech companies came up with this idea because watches were becoming obsolete since so many people rarely put down their phones and the time is always prominently displayed on the phone. What is a watch to do? Well, come up with some nifty features of its own.

So companies such as Sony, Samsung and Seiko have given new features to watches with apps that allow you to check the weather, check your messages, listen to music and play Space Invaders. Of course, you can buy additional apps to give your watch more functionality.

Apparently, ring makers are becoming jealous of smart watches because the company Smarty Ring has raised enough funds to bring their product to market and hopes to release it by April 2014. Smarty rings can do a lot of the same things that smart watches can do in a smaller format.

Seriously? On a ring? This product is obviously not for those of us with reading glasses and arthritis.

Now for my personal favorite — the smart bra.

Smart bras cannot do all the things that smart watches and the proposed Smarty Ring can do; not yet anyway. For now what they propose to do is monitor what a woman eats, check her vitals, and maybe give her a little shock if she eats too much.

The Microsoft Research Institute and the University of Rochester are the brains behind this heinous creation.

The “smart bra” collaborates with a phone app to warn women who are emotionally overeating. It is also equipped with stress sensors, heart rate monitors and a 3.7-volt battery.

The bra detects a woman’s mood and administers an electrocardiogram (EKG) if it detects that she is “stress-eating.” She is then alerted via the phone app to back it off.

Make no mistake about it, I hate bras. They are annoying, uncomfortable and often disfiguring. If I could get by without wearing one, I most definitely would, but the common consensus is that that would be unseemly.

That being said, do I really want my bra to aggravate me further by saying, “Hey, girl! You need to back off on that Christmas cake if you want me to fit tomorrow!” No. No I do not.

I’ve decided I don’t like smart things. I don’t care for my daughters’ smart mouths, Smarties candies or the even the show “Get Smart.” I definitely don’t like my husband’s smarty pants. I don’t need any more smart things around.

Truth be known, I spend a lot of time arguing with my smart phone because it thinks it is smarter than I am. How am I going to look in a crowd if I’m having multiple arguments with my phone, watch, ring and bra?

Not too smart at all.

— Rebecca Todd is a freelance writer and the author of the book “What’s the Point?” available at booklocker.com. Contact her at btodd@tds.net.