This article is part of the On Tech newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it weekdays.
Its time to end the elaborate staged events that are essentially infomercials for new technology products.
You probably know the ones Im talking about. Steve Jobs or the current Apple boss, Tim Cook, paces a dark stage and holds up a shiny slab of circuits to an enthralled audience. Apple on Tuesday teased a planned (virtual) event next week to do the stage-pacing thing for the latest iPads.
Mary Kay-style demonstrations for the 400th edition of an iPad are clearly not the most serious problem in technology or the world. Most people will never even watch these things, thank goodness. But they are an example of how we and tech companies dont stop enough and ask: Why does it have to be this way?
Apples influence has spread these staged product launches and they are mostly overhyped and unnecessary. Elon Musk does them for Tesla cars and brain implants. Media companies have borrowed this trick for hourslong presentations for their plus-sign video streaming services. An infomercial about a website is really a step too far.
The Jobs-esque product demonstrations are also an unintentional signal of how tech companies see their customers. To them, we are blobs with wallets that can be persuaded by the Silicon Valley equivalents of a fast-talking guy on TV hawking a mop.
My biggest beef with these elaborate infomercials is that theyre at odds with what technology is now. Its no longer confined to a shiny thing in a cardboard box. Technology now is the stuff that we dont necessarily notice smarter software that alerts us to hazards while we drive or tech that gives small businesses the power of Amazon. It worms its way into our homes and lives, for better or worse.
Technology is also one of the most powerful forces in the world. And yet tech companies continue to hold product launches with the manic energy of an industry desperate to get noticed.
Whats the alternative? Well, Microsoft on Tuesday published a blog post that described the latest model of its Surface laptop and other products. Spotify also posted on its website about its new experimental gadget thats like a modernized car stereo remote.
The posts explained what the products were, and that was it. Maybe youve heard the line, This meeting should have been an email? Microsoft and Spotify showed that most product launches should be a blog post and a two-minute video.
Im not the first person to write that the staged tech product events that Apple spread everywhere need to go. Even Ive written about it before.
This is old hat for Apple, too. And on Tuesday it did what it has done forever: It released an intentionally vague message about what is expected to be a canned webcast presentation. This achieved its goal. People who care about technology talked about it.
And of course, thats one reason these tech Tupperware parties endure: They get attention. (At least they do for Apple.) Journalists like me are a big part of the problem, too.
But we can just quit doing this. The Microsoft and Spotify products seemed to get noticed and written about on Tuesday even without a two-hour hype machine.
These product launches are a stale habit festering long after its ceased being useful. It shows a lack of imagination from companies that are supposed to be imaginative and a disrespect for us, the customers. It doesnt have to be this way.
Bitcoin is real now. Congrats/Im sorry: Coinbase, which lets people buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is listing its stock publicly on Wednesday. My colleague Erin Griffith explained what Coinbase is, and why its stock listing is a validation for cryptocurrency believers. (Ill have a conversation with Erin about Coinbase in Thursdays newsletter.)
Is Facebook doing more harm than good? The Guardian has been publishing a series of articles about the ways that Facebook is abused by world leaders in countries such as Honduras, Mongolia and Azerbaijan to mislead and manipulate their own citizens. Its a familiar tale of Facebook both giving citizens a voice and silencing them.
Planning vacations is going to be exhausting: My colleague Brian X. Chen has a special pandemic edition of how to use tech to prepare for a trip. Youll probably have to navigate the virus testing rules of your destination and digital documentation for vaccinations.
Lets all look at some pretty fish on the Monterey Bay Aquarium kelp forest video feed.
We want to hear from you. Tell us what you think of this newsletter and what else youd like us to explore. You can reach us at email@example.com.
If you dont already get this newsletter in your inbox, please sign up here.
Read the original here:
- Technology company - Wikipedia - June 20th, 2021
- PROJECT 38: How to survive today's tech stressors - Washington Technology - June 20th, 2021
- The first-ever Black-owned social job network built on blockchain technology launches Juneteenth - Johnson City Press (subscription) - June 20th, 2021
- Komatsu: celebrating 100 years of industrial innovation | Technology - Mining Global - Mining News, Magazine and Website - June 20th, 2021
- Energy Department Seeks to Keep Grant-Backed Technology Jobs in U.S. - The Wall Street Journal - June 20th, 2021
- AI and the future of global trade | Technology & AI - FinTech Magazine - The FinTech & InsurTech Platform - June 20th, 2021
- Investors in technology need to pay attention to corporate governance - The Economist - June 20th, 2021
- Swiss Scientist Refined Technology Used in MRI Scans - The Wall Street Journal - June 20th, 2021
- Talking Technology: Ferrie Says This Investment Can Yield Up to $100/Acre Profits - Agweb Powered by Farm Journal - June 20th, 2021
- Mississippi INBRE Research Efforts Aided by Technology Upgrade - Southern Miss Now - June 20th, 2021
- How One Company Is Leveraging Technology To Support And Educate Autistic Children - Forbes - June 20th, 2021
- Meet the World Economic Forum's Technology Pioneers of 2021 - World Economic Forum - June 20th, 2021
- Research says AI technology to divert invasive species in Illinois river akin to 'crime scene photos' - The Center Square - June 20th, 2021
- Bridging the gap: Technology can help conserve biodiversity - The Economist - June 20th, 2021
- Diving into the global problem of technology waste - MIT News - June 20th, 2021
- Calculating The Fair Value Of New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE:EDU) - Yahoo Finance - June 20th, 2021
- Ministers eye technology to save thousands of NHS staffing hours - Yahoo Finance UK - June 20th, 2021
- U.S., EU Forge Closer Ties on Emerging Technologies to Counter Russia and China - The Wall Street Journal - June 20th, 2021
- Newater Technology, Inc. Announces the Discharge of Injunction Against its Going Private Transaction - PRNewswire - June 20th, 2021
- The UAPs (UFOs) Are Not Caused by Any U.S. Advanced Technology - Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence - June 20th, 2021
- All kinds of new technology are being used to monitor the natural world - The Economist - June 20th, 2021
- WIPO is seeking a Head, Legislative, Policy and Technology Advice Section - IPWatchdog.com - June 20th, 2021
- This Is The Future Of EV Technology...Maybe - InsideEVs - June 20th, 2021
- Rule of land supreme, not your policy: Parliamentary panel on information technology to Twitter - Economic Times - June 20th, 2021
- Coding languages to learn and avoid for technology jobs in banks - eFinancialCareers - June 20th, 2021
- Green Energy: The Issue Is Politics, Not Technology or Cost - Bloomberg - June 20th, 2021
- Global High Purity Alumina Market (2020 to 2026) - Featuring Airy Technology, Nippon Light Metal and Polar Sapphire Among Others -... - June 20th, 2021
- Novel Vaccine Based on mRNA Technology Shows Protection Against Malaria in Animal Models | The Weather Channel - Articles from The Weather Channel |... - June 20th, 2021
- Widespread electrification requires us to rethink battery technology - TechCrunch - June 13th, 2021
- Innovative Battery Technology Puts Flying Cars on the Horizon - SciTechDaily - June 13th, 2021
- Intel debates buyout of SiFive to bolster chip technology against Arm -source - Reuters - June 13th, 2021
- Erbil to host 2nd annual international fair on information technology - Kurdistan24 - June 13th, 2021
- The coming productivity boom - MIT Technology Review - June 13th, 2021
- Sit back and enjoy the technology ride - Mankato Free Press - June 13th, 2021
- King County Councils ban of facial recognition technology is misguided - MyNorthwest.com - June 13th, 2021
- Recon Updates Progress on its Technology-Driven Solutions for Electric Submersible Progressing Cavity Pump with $5 Million Orders Secured - PRNewswire - June 13th, 2021
- Jetti Resources' technology could help unlock millions of tonnes of copper from tailings - The Northern Miner - June 13th, 2021
- We can take the lead in offshore wind-energy technology - theday.com - June 13th, 2021
- Senate passes bill to boost US science and tech innovation to compete with China - USA TODAY - June 13th, 2021
- Technology Fills the Gap as Jobs Lag GDP - The Wall Street Journal - June 13th, 2021
- Salesforce CEO: We're going to rebuild all of our technology to become Slack-first - Yahoo Finance - June 13th, 2021
- TikTok changed the shape of some peoples faces without asking - MIT Technology Review - June 13th, 2021
- NFTs: A token of trust in the digital world | Technology & AI - FinTech Magazine - The FinTech & InsurTech Platform - June 13th, 2021
- NextNav, with its warehouse-ready positioning technology, going public via SPAC - FreightWaves - June 13th, 2021
- What is a flying car? - The Indian Express - June 13th, 2021
- Moon, Macron discuss bilateral cooperation in cutting-edge technology industries - The Korea Herald - June 13th, 2021
- This Top Computer and Technology Stock is a #1 (Strong Buy): Why It Should Be on Your Radar - Yahoo Finance - June 13th, 2021
- This DST-backed wastewater treatment technology to reduce costs for low, medium scale enterprises - The Financial Express - June 13th, 2021
- VPN is still the most important tool in your technological arsenal - TechRadar - June 13th, 2021
- DXC Technology Welcomes Brenda Tsai as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer - Business Wire - June 13th, 2021
- Proceed to your nearest (virtual) exit: gaming technology is teaching us how people respond to emergencies - The Conversation AU - June 13th, 2021
- UK and US agree to strengthen ties in science and technology - GOV.UK - June 13th, 2021
- The Frangible Technology Fund Expands Across the United States - United States Eventing Association - June 13th, 2021
- BIS Working Paper Examines Architecture and Rationale of CBDC Technology | ABA Banking Journal - ABA Banking Journal - June 13th, 2021
- Should You Be Adding Amkor Technology (NASDAQ:AMKR) To Your Watchlist Today? - Simply Wall St - June 13th, 2021
- Worldwide Rubber Gloves Industry to 2026 - by Manufacturers, Regions, Technology and Product Type - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire - June 13th, 2021
- Survivor Credits Cutting Edge Technology For Best Chance In Fight Against Aggressive Breast Cancer - news9.com KWTV - June 13th, 2021
- 2022 Audi A3 and S3 return with improved engines and technology - The Car Connection - June 13th, 2021
- Is Society Moving In The Right Direction With Technology Rapidly Taking Over The World? - Forbes - June 2nd, 2021
- Top Technology Trends Redefining the Future of the Fintech Industry - Analytics Insight - June 2nd, 2021
- King County Council votes to ban use of facial recognition technology - KING5.com - June 2nd, 2021
- Why banks differ in the pace of adoption of new technology | VOX, CEPR Policy Portal - voxeu.org - June 2nd, 2021
- 1 Trillion Gallons of Water Being Recycled Using Xylem Technology - Business Wire - June 2nd, 2021
- What Is the Space Force's Technology Vision? - FedTech Magazine - June 2nd, 2021
- Staying safe with technology | News | thenewsguard.com - The News Guard - June 2nd, 2021
- New technology put in place to stop wrong-way drivers is showing results - WCPO - June 2nd, 2021
- UK Partners With NASA to Help Launch $15 Million Space Technology Research Institute - UKNow - June 2nd, 2021
- MOLECULAR YOU SIGNS AGREEMENT FOR ROCHE TO USE ITS MOLECULAR PROFILING TECHNOLOGY - BioSpace - June 2nd, 2021
- Japanese companies to develop chipmaking technology with TSMC -Nikkei - Reuters - June 2nd, 2021
- Microsoft: This open-source technology points the way to the collaborative future of work - TechRepublic - June 2nd, 2021
- Using Technology to Increase Investor Confidence - The Real Deal - June 2nd, 2021
- Adlumin Appoints New Director of Innovation and Technology - Business Wire - June 2nd, 2021
- NBA Launchpad initiative seeks to improve basketball through emerging technologies - USA TODAY - June 2nd, 2021
- Cristiano Ronaldo Signs Recovery Technology Deal With Therabody - SportTechie - June 2nd, 2021
- Micron Technology to Report Fiscal Third Quarter Results on June 30, 2021 - Yahoo Finance - June 2nd, 2021
- Harvard Licenses Technology to Obatala Sciences to Advance Discovery in Obesity, Diabetes, and Cancer - Business Wire - June 2nd, 2021
- Former head of Alphabets Loon joins Starship Technologies as new CEO - TechCrunch - June 2nd, 2021
- HRS Crisis Management Solution Delivers Turnkey Technology and Safe Hotel Options for Corporations, First Responders and Governments - Business Wire - June 2nd, 2021
- Trillions of pounds of trash: New technology tries to solve an old garbage problem - CNBC - June 2nd, 2021
- Technology companies testing anti-misinformation accuracy prompts developed by MIT research team - PRNewswire - June 2nd, 2021