Year 2015, Planet Earth. Tech-savvy consumers are facing consequences of a video-driven society. As live-streaming apps as Periscope spread their “eyes”, citizens give up a part of their daily privacy pursuing a kind of eternal present illusion. Probably the Instagram-mania of capturing every single moment – from fashionable shoes to joyless gluten-free foods – was just not enough.
But not all is lost.
Despite the evidence, real-time video can be even synonym of increased security. Believe it or not, technology can improve human life without orwellian implications. It sounds like a G. W. Bush statement after 9/11 outrage, but it is not.
Look at last Samsung’s admirable idea.
Frount-mounted camera, rear LCD screen. Samsung wants to lead road safety to a new different level, giving drivers behind a truck a better understanding of the oncoming traffic.
Now just think about the obvious benefit.
You are in the middle of a two-lane motorway. A truck is holding on a boring speed. So you decide to overtake it, but you do it in a coin-flipping way due to the lack of visibility. You’ve got 50% chance to survive, you’ve got 50% chance to say goodbye to your gluten-free stuff (sorry, vegan & coeliacs).
To overhaul these tipycal traffic-related risks Samsung uses state-of-the-art technology to broadcast obstacles. So that people may soon drive more confidently taking advantage of a truck simply showing outdoor display images and avoiding any collisions. It’s just like the truck has been bypassed by your eyes. You can literally see through it.
That’s the point. The matter of which the decision is made is information. Having information of what is going to happen allows you to make the right choice in the near future. On the road, it means basically that overtaking or not will be soon a choice based on a more reasonable point of view: your own eyes. Overtaking a truck it’s going to be no longer a matter of faith.
But let’s get back to reality.
The Samsung made so-called Safe Truck system seems to be a quite expensive one. In other words, it simply can not be manufactured on a massive scale. Cheapest cameras might be the answer to the economic unsustainability issue. But it’s certain all part of wider approach by the automotive industry to make driving less dangerous to the average person.
Mashable’s editor Chris Perkins says that “the screen could also prove to be a distraction”. Well Chris, when seat belts were invented someone said that they were uncomfortable for driving. Luckily tech industries keep developing their product despite distopic outlooks. It’s the art of weighing pros & cons avoiding to collide with the present. And it’s probably the main aim of technology in a nutshell.
Driving the future.
P.S. Hold on tight: for the Safety Truck spot Samsung rejected its own product and used Mobotix camera technology and Panasonic plasma screen. So what’s next? Google will implement Apple Music in its self-driving car radio system?
Too many characters on this article? Well said.
Come on Twitter, enjoy shortness and follow @FedericoSbandi.