10 Innovations We’d Like to See

Technology is changing our lives and making the world a better place … at least that’s what they keep telling us. I just have one question: Whose life and what world? OK, maybe that’s two questions.

Maybe I’m missing something but there really isn’t much tech that actually makes our lives easier instead of giving us something else to get addicted to.

I’m puzzled by smartphone payment systems. Life in America is rough, I know. So much to buy and so little time. But is it really such a hardship to pull out a credit card? So what if they’re not secure? You know the banks and credit card companies pick up the tab when that happens don’t you?

And do we really need smartwatches and fitness bands to tell us we got a good workout or we’re fat and need to quit stuffing our faces with fast food?

I installed the Uber app and checked it out a few times while travelling but, you know, it was just a whole lot easier to grab a cab. Cheaper too. What about uberX? Yeah, that’s what I need to make sure I get to an important meeting: Some boomerang kid trying to make a few bucks with his mom’s car. No thanks.

Sure, there have been advances in medicine and biotech. We have Viagra and we can maybe find out what breed of mutt we’ve adopted. But when I go to the doctor it’s the same old stuff: Penicillin, Prednisone, Ibuprofen, casts and colonoscopies. I will admit that arthroscopic and laparoscopic surgery is cool.

OK, rant aside, here are 10 innovative ideas that actually would make our lives (or at least my life) better:

Real all-in-one device. I go into panic mode every time I leave the house. Did I forget my iPhone? My MacBook Air? My iPad? Why do I even have an iPad? Everywhere I go I look like a vagabond. My hands are full just walking around the house. I’m sick of all the all-in-one devices that aren’t. How about a real one?

Auto espresso/cappuccino maker (that someone from Milan wouldn’t laugh at). You mean to tell me nobody can design a machine that automatically makes real espresso and froths milk (real froth, not the crap superautomatics make)? Yes, I know, baristas are artists. Right. Have you ever seen yourself in the morning? Trust me, it’s not a Picasso you need. It’s a shower and a quadruple cappuccino.

Men In Black neuralyzer. I only want it for one purpose: To erase my wife’s memory when I do something stupid that lands me on the couch. But let’s face it, there are so many times we want people to forget we were ever there, right?

Unskilled labor robot. Why does technology always replace good jobs instead of the ones nobody wants? How about a robot that cleans the house? And no, you shouldn’t have to clean the house before it comes over. Instead we have Roomba. How can a company that sells a mediocre vacuum cleaner call itself iRobot? Isaac Asimov must be turning in his grave. Also I have a hard time believing a robot can’t harvests fruit or make fast food.

Smart idiot-neighbor repellent. It would come with all sorts of preprogrammed settings like nosy, noisy, intrusive, tool abductor, trespasser, pedophile, crack addict, that sort of thing.

Pest killer. Something that eradicates (and I mean eradicates) gophers, moles, roaches, ants, houseflies or poison oak. I’ll pay big bucks for any of the above. And no, nothing out there works. Not really. Also beavers … for the Duck Dynasty guys.

Auto personal cleaner. You just walk in and it showers, shaves and dries you. Yes, it’s programmable (obviously).

Motion detector/bird-zapper. I don’t need motion detectors to keep my house secure. Floodlights just give crooks more light to work in. I want motion detectors to keep birds from eating all my fruit and vegetables and descending on my pool and father-in-laws pond and pooping all over the place. The Scarecrow is a step in the right direction but I know we can do better.

Real-time BS detector. Speaks for itself.

Robot politicians. You mean nobody can come up with a robot that does nothing, at least nothing productive? OK, I’ll settle for a device that turns politicians and bureaucrats back into normal human beings -- you know, before they became pod people. That and the BS detector. Got to have that.