Friday, May 25, 2007

Too Much Technology?

Given our obsession for carrying around more gadgets (which are supposedly improving our day-to-day life), it was inevitable that one would end up interfering with another in an unpleasant, if not catastrophic, way. Drivers of the 2007 Nissan Altima and Infiniti G35 seem to have encountered one of those ways. These cars have "I-Keys," which, as Reuters describes, are "wireless devices designed to allow drivers to enter and start their cars at the push of a button." Regardless of whether or not this innovation is satisfying any significant need (such as what to do when both your arms are full), the I-Key has a problem that will probably affect just about anyone who buys one of these cars. According to Nissan (North America) spokesman Kyle Bazemore, "We discovered that if the I-Key touches a cellphone, outgoing or incoming calls have the potential to alter the electronic code inside the I-Key." You can figure out the rest. Once the code changes, you cannot open the door or start the car. Apparently, if you have an I-Key (does the I stand for "intelligent?"), your car no longer has the old-fashioned metal-in-slot alternative as a backup. It makes one wonder if we have become so obsessed with innovation that we no longer can be bothered with questions as petty as those concerned with ultimate benefit; or, as Delmore Schwartz might say, we are trying to get away with dreaming without responsibilities!

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