The emergency dial on smartphones is an intuitive feature that lets you to call for help with a single button. Too intuitive for Daniel Moore, a drug dealer, who in May, 2011 accidentally emergency dialed 911 in the middle of a drug deal. This is a real news story of a smartphone ‘fail’.
Now, let’s look at some fictitious news stories about how the intuitive smartphones of the future that might one day truly fail their owners.
June 2016: New Google phone reveals infidelities
Thomas Moore was more than delighted with the new phone his wife got him until the phone inadvertently uncovered her husband’s affair. “This piece of sh** cost me my marriage!” said a disgruntled Moore as he appeared for his divorce proceedings. Hailed as the new iPhone killer, the voice-activated Google Auto was designed to learn each user’s habits and patterns – which apps they use most, which contacts they call most – and use Google’s patented autocomplete technology to predict and suggest. So when Mrs Moore (soon to be ex) borrowed her husband’s phone one morning to make a call, the phone predicted and suggested that he call his mistress, as he had been doing all week. Apparently Mr Moore isn’t the only one sleeping on the couch, as hundreds of unfaithful spouses have complained about being accidentally ‘outed’ due to the smartphone’s predictive technology. There is even said to be an unofficial protest against the phone scheduled later this year entitled ‘Un-occupy the couch’. Reached for comment over email, a Google representative simply replied with the company’s official motto, ‘Don’t be evil’.
October 2020: Woman claims smartphone put husband in coma
Martha Washington is suing the makers of her husband’s smartphone, claiming it led to her husband’s coma. Dilbert Washington, known as ‘D-Dubya’, got caught up in the craze of new smellophones – smartphones that release a variety of fragrances. He custom ordered his smellophone with his favorite fragrance. “Dilbert loved the smell of fried chicken, even more than the taste!” said Martha during her interview on Oprah. He set his alarm to the fragrance, and every morning, for months, D-Dubya awoke to the smell of fried chicken. All was well until a 24-hour KFC restaurant opened up right below the Washingtons’ apartment. Then came the insomnia. “Unbeknownst to Mr Washington, he had been training his body, for months, to awaken to the scent of fried chicken. Fried chicken – awake! Fried chicken – awake!” said Sally Fieldhouse, Professor of Scentology, during her trial testimony. Unable to escape the alertness-inducing smell of fried chicken, D-Dubya didn’t sleep for days, then weeks; until finally one morning, a sleep-deprived Dilbert got behind the wheel of his car… and fell asleep, crashing into a ditch and sustaining a head injury that left him in a coma. The trial has received the attention of national and international media, and is currently trending in the top 10 under the hashtag #KentuckyFriedComa.
March 2027: ‘Siri made me do it’
Michael Douglas (no relation to the famous Hollywood actor) claims that his iPhone implant – or iPlant – convinced him to murder three people. Apple has been quick to deny any culpability, but that hasn’t stopped the media from dubbing Mr Douglas ‘The Siri-al Killer’. It was on New Year’s Day, 12:01 a.m. that Apple marked the 20th anniversary of the iPhone by unveiling the world’s first non-surgical cellular implant, a smartphone that connects directly to your cerebral cortex. The ‘iPlant’ comes with a new super-intuitive Siri, which can even ‘sense’ your mood and offer helpful advice to improve it. According to Mr Douglas, now a diagnosed schizophrenic, Siri helped calm down his ‘raging’. The two had long conversations about the true meaning of happiness. “She advised me that for me to be happy, I had to remove certain negative influences from my life… permanently.” Whether or not that “permanently” came from Siri or not, Apple’s PR and legal departments have their hands full with claims ranging from brain manipulation to second degree homicide. “She’s a smartphone, not a hitman!” blurted one Apple spokesman as he was hounded by reporters. “She’s an angel” said Douglas of Siri, as he was interviewed behind bars. When asked if he would like to have his ‘iPlant’ back, an overjoyed Douglas said, “Certainly! She really understood me. It’s like she was inside my head…”
The previous three news stories were works of pure fiction. Any resemblance to real events was accidental… and would be more than a little creepy.
by Qasim Makkani is Director, Creative and Strategy, Spectrum Y&R. firstname.lastname@example.org
First published in the May-June 2014 Issue. [Article Source]