Wednesday, January 03, 2007

In Car WiFi

So I came across this article the other day and didn't really think much of it. But today Computer World had this article about it. Here is an excerpt; "January 03, 2007 -- Autonet Mobile, a San Francisco startup, said yesterday it is preparing to release a product for cars that combines 3G cellular access and Wi-Fi that will plug into your car's cigarette lighter. Users will be able to connect the same way they do at hot spots or their home Wi-Fi network. The company will show off the system at the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas."

So at fist, I am thinking how cool that could be. There are all sorts of situations in which I could envision this being helpful. For instance, I wouldn't need GPS because I could always have Mapquest or Google Maps available for my laptop or PDA. I would have access to restaurant reviews or movie times as well as a host of other entertainment information. I would have constant access to YouTube and other fun websites to pass the time on a long drive. Maybe the person who finds my car smashed into the tree (caused by my lack of attention while driving) can use it to look up how to apply a tourniquet to my upper leg to stop the bleeding from lower leg where my foot used to be.

That's when it hits me. Is this really stuff I need, let alone, should be doing in my car? When taking into account the increase in traffic accidents related to cell phone use, is having internet access a good thing while you are driving. I know you what you are thinking. You're thinking that no moron would use it while driving, it would be more for passenger use or for use while not driving. That was my thought too, then I remembered the degrees to which I have seen my fellow man (and myself for that matter) stretch the bounds of idiocy. I see the guy sitting at the stop light looking up something, the light turns green and he starts to go while reading the last little bit of information or watching the last little bit of video or whatever. That is all it takes.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for this kind of advancement, I'm just not sure that Darwin's theory of evolution moves fast enough to protect us from the people that will choose to use this technology while driving their vehicle. At the risk of sounding old and out of touch (neither of which I am, unless you ask my children) maybe just driving in the car is enough. Maybe we don't need to be working or entertained or searching for information every second of every day. Maybe once in a while it is OK to be alone with our thoughts or maybe it would be OK to simply pop in that eight track tape and sing along (just kidding, for those of you who have any idea what an eight track tape is). Maybe rather than trying to find ways to distract our children on that long trip, we could take the time to engage them and make them part of the discussion. Maybe, just maybe, we could take a short break from the internet and all it has to offer, and still be OK.

Enjoy your day!
-mike

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