Assignment #5 – Jay Fulk

Honeycrisp, Inc. is announcing this breakthrough new product that reads body language and vital signs. Apparently it will determine our mood and change the channels  for us that best fits our  current mood.  First of all, why have they developed such a product? That’s the first question, but the second question is about the market demand for it. Do people truly want a device that will change your television channels automatically based on your current mood? I am going to just go off on a limb here, but I’m going to go ahead and say definitely not. There is not  a market for this because there isn’t even a need for this. If I am understanding this new product correctly, if my mood changes in the middle of a television show, it could possibly change the channel before I can finish watching what I started, correct? Please tell me if I’m off base here. What if I start watching Law and Order: SVU but in the middle of watching it, my wife cracks a funny joke that reminds me of Daniel Tosh stand up comedy. Will this device then change the channel to Comedy Central to watch Tosh.O? It’s really hard for me to get on board with a product like this.

If this product truly is marketed and sold in America, what will modern television viewing look like today? In the future? Will I be able to come home from work and walk into the living room, having this new product evaluate my mood and determine what channel best fits me at that specific time? If that’s the case, I sure hope that it picks NFL Network every time! With all kidding aside, this could be actually quite revolutionary if it were to be  successful. The big question that would arise is the privacy issue. Are enough people willing to allow a machine to analyze their bodies just for television? Would this product change television viewing for the better or would it just get worse? Would this product also reach out to movies and video games eventually? All of these questions are interesting to think about.

Lets just talk about what positive impacts this product could potentially have on our society. For starters, we would probably never run out of batteries in our television remote controls! We would hardly ever use them anymore. I can only hope that there would be manual override settings if this product analyzed your mood incorrectly. This product may actually reduce the amount of television that we watch as a country because how much time do we really spend just surfing channels? This product would basically eliminate this aspect of time wasting while we search for what we want to watch. I know that I have sat down and spent two hours on the television, but only really watching thirty minutes of what I actually wanted to watch.

Now, lets talk about the negative impacts this product could potentially have on our society. One thing that I can see right away is promotion of laziness. Honestly, how lazy have we become as a society where we no longer can handle using a remote control to change our channels? Even though I mentioned that this could possibly bring overall television viewership down by eliminating channel surfing, this could also do the complete opposite and bring viewership up. Obviously television networks would be hoping for the latter. If it did bring total viewership down, it would hurt the cable companies tremendously. I can only assume that the discussion would then be brought into the political arena with possible regulation. What would be the cost of this device and is it designed to be in every household in America? Or, is it only designed for the upper class folks? We live in  a rich technological society today, but how far is too far? Ten years ago, it seemed that we had accomplished so much technologically, and we did, but look at our world today. We have come further in the last ten years technologically, compared to the previous twenty or thirty combined.

I feel that this product is  a destined failure in our society because there is no true need for it. Now, need doesn’t always determine the market, because we all have wants as well. I just don’t see enough people really wanting this product to make it a success.