Friday, April 23, 2010

When Worlds Collide

I'm hoping this development merely heralds a collision of the tech and the automotive worlds. In truth I'm afraid it may be an indicator of dozens, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of collisions to come. What am I talking about?

USBFever released the newest iPad accessory this week. What is it? Why it's a windshield mount for the iPad. Putting your best intentions to merely use it as a navigational tool aside, is this really a good idea? How can I explain this. . .

Have you ever gone to a bar or restaurant with a TV set playing a movie and found yourself, or the people your with (ahem, my wife, who shall remain nameless) watching the TV instead of paying attention to the people actually in the room? You haven't? Liar! Of course you have. We all do it. In the same way that rats are attracted to shiney objects, our eyes are automatically drawn to flashy images that flicker across screens. We've been conditioned since we were young.

There's a reason it's illegal to talk on the phone or text while driving in California. Just that little bit of distraction is enough to not notice that the car in front of you's brake lights, or that pedestrian who has just stepped off the curb. Now imagine the distraction of being able to surf the web or watch re-runs of "The Mighty Boosh."

I like gadgets. I like gadget accessories. I'm a tech writer after all. But Computers As Humans is going to take an official stand on this one and call it a bad idea. And I'm not alone. David Dahlquist from Macworld urged his readers to "please, please not use the iPad while driving." I stand shoulder to shoulder with my fellow tech journalist on this one.

However that said, in the spirit of democracy I will say the windshield mount is $29 and available from the USBFever website. Now, please, please don't go out and buy it!

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