Featured Product
This Week in Quality Digest Live
Quality Insider Features
Ryan E. Day
FARO laser tracker helps Cincinnati Inc. keep pace with modern manufacturing
Jessica Higgins
Creating a culture that is both customer-centric and employee-centric is possible
Peter Dizikes
MIT Sloan’s Hal Gregersen talks about his new book, Questions Are the Answer
Eric Stoop
Write your own story of quality transformation
Jeffrey Phillips
One signal loud and clear is ‘ecosystem’

More Features

Quality Insider News
Works with Marposs LVDT/HVT manual gauges
How to solve any problem and make the best decisions by shifting creative mindsets
Results for a three-day, waste-free conference were 2,061 pounds of waste diverted from the landfill
Enhances accreditation services portfolio across global market
Metallography and hardness-testing techniques for steel, iron-based metals, and heat/surface-treated materials
Sturdy Lever Clamp is ideal for added force and for larger parts
‘We wanted to do something ridiculous to highlight how preposterous paper is when there are more efficient solutions.’
How to build your dream team, explode your growth, and let your business soar
Creates adaptive system for managing product development and post-market quality for devices with software elements

More News

Bill Kalmar

Quality Insider

Yes, I Am Technically Inept

Apparently I’m not smarter than my smart devices

Published: Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 12:01

The other day I observed a person locking his car with a key. When’s the last time you saw that? What with remote lock and unlock and key fobs, keys are a thing of the past. 

We have a new car, and it comes with a key fob. As you approach the car, one merely needs to press a button on the door, and eureka, the door opens! Once inside the car, there is a button to start the engine—no key. Our car also has “stop–start,” which means when you come to a red light and press the brake, the engine shuts off. This saves on fuel and accounts for the great gas mileage we achieve.

My smart car also has a feature that warns the driver that something, a package or person, may be in the back seat. The alarm and message on the screen states: “Check rear seat.” This is a feature to alert people that there may be a child in the back seat... in case you aren’t smart enough to have figured that out. It is triggered by opening and closing the rear door. And of course there are a multitude of alerts and warnings that pop up such as, “Time to change oil” and, “How much pressure is in the tires?” to name just two items.

Now, moving on from the car, I attempted to install a software update on my smart phone. It’s called a smart phone because it’s smarter than I am, what with all the information it has packed into it. Unfortunately, I learned from my phone carrier that my phone will not accommodate an update because there is not enough memory. Not sure how smart that was. To remedy this, I would have to upgrade to a more expensive phone, so I decided that I am perfectly content with what I currently have. Take that, smart phone.

Our children bought us a big-screen smart TV—there’s that word again. The TV is so smart that it has features such as 4K that aren’t currently offered on regular channels. And here’s a feature I was not aware of: Our son called me and told me that he had sent a link to my phone, and I should open it. When I did, the information on my phone—a movie—suddenly appeared on the TV. So there we have a smart phone communicating with a smart TV and—somewhere in the middle—I sit confused, trying to figure out what happened.

So as you can see, I am troubled with all the muddled information I am receiving from our car, our phone, and our TV. 

Maybe the person I saw opening the car with a key had it right—we oldsters are more comfortable living in the past!

Discuss

About The Author

Bill Kalmar’s picture

Bill Kalmar

William J. Kalmar has extensive business experience, including service with a Fortune 500 bank and the Michigan Quality Council, of which he served as director from 1993 through 2003. He served on the Board of Overseers of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and has been a Baldrige examiner. He was also named quality professional of the year by the ASQ Detroit chapter. Now semi-retired, Kalmar does freelance writing for several publications. He is a member of the USA Today Vacation Panel, a mystery shopper for several companies, and a frequent presenter and lecturer.