Aris Silzars Display Technology Consulting


 Taking Time to Appreciate…

Was Santa good to you?  Did he bring you a new tablet computer?  Or perhaps a new Smart Phone?  Or a Smart TV with a gesture-sensitive remote control?  Or a new laptop computer with both a touch-screen and a keyboard?  Or maybe a new desktop computer with the latest version of Windows?  Or did he go all out and bring you a flashy new automobile with a display screen (touch of course) that controls nearly every function in the car – as well as some that have nothing to do with the car?  Well, my Santa was not nearly as good to me.  And I am very glad.

How many of these feature-laden devices do we really need and how much time are we willing to spend just to replace what we already know how to do and that seems to be working just fine?  For example, I’ve needed a new desktop computer for some time now – it’s getting cranky in its old age -- but I have been reluctant to spend the many hours it will take to make a new computer work in the way that I am used to with the one I have now.  Frankly, I don’t need a new version of Windows.  The old version (XP) does everything that I need.  So why do I want to spend several days getting to the same place with a new version?  I would be very happy to have a new computer that is simply trouble free. 

Do I really want a remote control for my TV that responds to my gestures?  That seems incredibly silly.  What is wrong with just pushing a button or two with one finger to change channels the way I am doing it now? 

And recently we see that the electronic gadget approach has also invaded the automobile industry.  There seems to be a rush to see who can add more features that are all controlled from a central display panel.  But what happens when this electronic control-everything approach has a failure?  And why do I need to go through complicated menus while driving just to tune a radio or control the temperature?  For sure we have seen the end of the era of antique automobiles.  The ones being built currently will never be restorable because the electronics modules will not be available once the supply of working ones in exhausted.   The mechanical components will still be operable and repairable but there will be no way to replace or restore the electronic control functions. 

It seems that we have entered an era of new gadgets being created at an accelerating pace, but with no clear reason why we are making them – other than to generate business for the manufacturers.  It’s as if we are creating the latest hit songs.  We bring a product to market – hope that everyone will want to buy one – and within six months do it all over again.  If the next product is not a hit the entire business may be in jeopardy.  

The fundamental problem may be that we really don’t need this many new things and we are nearing a saturation point of how to absorb all the new features that are being thrown at us. 

The good news is that as a group we consumers are amazingly astute.  We accept the developments that give us a real benefit and reject those that are more trouble than they are worth.  Perhaps that is why all the push for 3D TV in the home has had so little commercial success.  Perhaps that is also why there has been no great rush to buy computers with the latest version of Windows.  And if all those wonderful electronic features being added into automobiles are not easy to learn and use, they will encounter the same consumer resistance. 

So perhaps as we enter the New Year, what we should all do is to simply relax and do nothing.  Don’t rush out to buy the latest gadget.  Sit back and let a few others try it and see what they think.  Take a nap instead.  There will be plenty of opportunity to acquire the best of what is being offered.  Then implement only those devices and those features that add a real benefit to your lifestyle.  

An interesting exercise that you may want to try is to list those developments that you think have had the most influence on your life in the last decade.  For me a short list would be the ability to search and find almost anything on the Internet, e-mail and Wi-Fi, and large-screen flat-panel TVs.   I would be interested to know what your short list would look like. 

You may reach me directly from this site, by e-mail at, or by phone at 425-898-9117.   With my best wishes to all of you in this New Year – and may you be able to relax the way our puppy is doing in the accompanying photo.               



19916 NE 30th Ct. Sammamish, WA 98074 Call 425.898.9117

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