I received an email today advertising a new Petzl headtorch. Many brands of headtorch are available ranging from cheap junk from eBay to premier brands like Petzl. Now this torch had a lot of useful features such as rechargable LiIon battery, long duration and adjustable beam widths. But it was smart in that you could set it for background lighting or narrow beams, red lights for keeping your darkness vision working, ambient light detector to adjust the brightness.
All those features sound useful to me and seem desirable although it would obviously make this headtorch cost more than the junk from eBay. But what struck as absurd was the fact that this torch could be controlled by an app on your phone using Bluetooth.
Oh sweet baby Jesus, how absurd and stupid can tech designers be? (Very, I work with them!) It’s a torch on your head. If you want to control it, reach up and touch your head, it’s normally within reach of your arms. If your head is further away that your arms will reach then I think you have bigger problems than controlling your head torch! But seriously, using an smartphone app. So to control this you have to fumble and find the phone, then wake the phone, then take off a glove so the touch screen works, then start the app, then wait while it pairs/syncs with the headlamp, then remember you put the phone in Aeroplane mode because you are in the wilds and there is no service, so then you wait for Bluetooth, then you can adjust the mode or brightness. Or reach to your head and press the button.
I apologise that my employers provide the semiconductors that enable this nonsense to be considered sensible. As the saying goes…
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!