The interconnectivity of communication devices through the Internet of Things is providing technological platforms that offer various solutions to many of life’s problems. In the modern world of global commercialization, consumers are consistently inundated by a broad range of choices for internet connected products that are aimed at improving the quality of living by making life better and easier. With the proliferation of the Internet of Things, entrepreneurs are daily inventing new technology that spoils the users with choices.
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino who invented the Goodnight Lamp warned that consumerism was going out of control. She warned users of technological products to think about the consequences of the piles of rubbish dumps of discarded or unused products. Begging consumers to think about the utility value that could be added to a person’s life by an internet connected toaster, she pointed out that although everyone dreamed of making life easier through connectivity by the Internet of Things, Alexandra said life does not work like technology. Technology should not be about the ease of use, but the creation of the right devices for the right purposes.
After the death of her father in Canada, Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino invented a lamp to assist familily members living in different parts of the world to maintain contact and keep in touch. If the Goodnight Lamp is touched it lights up the lamp of a family member in another part of the world through reception of a mobile phone which acts as a signal to notify them that you are ready to talk. She said she invented the lamp because she wished she had used her free time to speak with her late father who lived in Canada when she was living in London. However, she further said that not all products of technological connectivity had such a noble social function.
The product designer is now urging consumers to purchase technology that can be passed on and not thrown away. Noting that consumers inevitably get bored of technology products they own when new versions hit the market, the cycle of products is fuelling climate change and adding to landfills. She urged for the regulation of product designers, entrepreneurs and product distributers to ensure that old products could be disassembled for recycling and reuse.
A buyer would know whether or not a company that invented a product was committed to sustainability if a mark of certification similar to the Trade Aid certified stamp was on the package. But for now, she advised consumers to buy technologies that they could pass on when they no longer needed them. For instance, Vodafone announced earlier this month that it would prepare for an influx of internet connected products by rolling out a Narrowband-IoT network. Over 50 million IoT products by Vodafone across the world are connected to its 2G network with almost 1.4m of the connection being in New Zealand. Scott Pollard, the IoT country manager for Vodafone said most of the IoT products in the country were monitoring alarm systems, car’s driving behaviors and electricity meters.