Saturday, July 1, 2017

Smart Consumerism

So 4 years ago I bought a Samsung Smart TV. It is an internet connected TV that lets me do other things on the TV beyond just watching cable. Now my favorite activity on the internet that I love to do on the television is - watch YouTube.

I believe I watched more YouTube on my TV than I watched cable television. Then all of a sudden on 30th June 2017, YouTube stopped working on my TV. I searched around on the internet a bit and realized that YouTube decided to move to a new platform (HTML5) and the older apps are no longer supported. Samsung has gone silent on this issue, but it is anybody's guess that they won't go update their old TVs.

And it dawned on me that - what used to be consumer goods with decades of life (our TV, Refrigerator, Washing Machine grew up with me), now will suddenly stop working on you, even though they are in a perfectly good condition. This my friends, is the beginning of SMART Consumerism.

While we get all gung-ho about IoT and everything getting "SMART". What we tend to forget is - these products will not be updated forever. I am sure most manufacturers will support them for 3-4 years (even if they plan to support!) and then they will expect you to trash it and buy a new one.

There goes minimalism down the drain and so does the planet. Say hello to more stuff.

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