Someone Please Come Up With a New Product That Fills a Need I Didn’t Have

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Dear consumer electronics industry,

I am disappointed in your recent offerings. None of them feel like they might actually improve, rather than needlessly complicate, my life.

The cell phone was a nice touch. And the ipod — whoa! The Nintendo DS was OK too, but as an entertainment device it’s got stiff competition in the form of a centuries-old technology known as books.

But smartphones? Are you aware that I’m away from a computer only about 2 waking hours a day as it is? And what is this bullshit tablet PC? And bluetooth headsets? Please.

Here’s what I want to know: where is my monitorless computer? Why can’t I subvocalize my e-mails rather than typing them? How come telepresence, augmented reality, and true always-on connectivity have yet to come to fruition?

Second Life is nice if you’re not doing so well in your First one, but technologies that help the handicapped — whether it’s a motorized wheelchair for the immobilized or virtual worlds for the socially awkward — have only limited utility for us everyday Joes.

Please start building things that actually make my life different, or help me be more productive or less likely to experience any idle moments in which I might contemplate my various existential crises.

Or at least, like social networks, become necessary once everyone else is on them. Is that too much to ask?

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