We live in an amazing time of smart technology. Smart cars, smart homes, smart devices. Convenience is built in all around us now without the lift of a finger. It is amazing what some of this technology can do. What is equally amazing? What some of this same technology CAN’T do. The details matter and app developers are missing opportunities.

Let’s take an example that many of us may use now. You’re planning your weekend and you decide to purchase movie tickets on your phone. Easily done. The tickets now show up on your wallet. Fantastic. You would think that there would be an easy way for Apple to then say, “Would you like to add this event to your calendar?” Nope. Technology is growing in leaps and bounds while simultaneously falling just short of what many of us consider “common sense sequences”.

It’s convenient -just not convenient enough. There are little missing pieces. Let’s take another example of a big tech company with some impressive contributions: Tesla. Tesla equips their electric cars with all sorts of parking sensors. Your Tesla knows what area of the car is coming close to hitting something. If you look at the dashboard it will light up the area of concern, but that requires you to take the focus off of driving and look back at the dashboard. Why doesn’t the sound of the warning sensor just come from whichever area of the car that’s about to hit? Front left, rear right, etc. This way we don’t have to look back at the dash, we can just hear it. The details matter.

Often times, it feels like if a third party was just left to live with the technology for a few weeks, they would be able to figure out what common sense sequences it CAN’T do. 

Let’s take another big tech example with Amazon Alexa. People love these smart devices. The Amazon Echo devices have taken over homes – many with multiple devices. It is possible, for a very low price, for everyone to have a smart home. The problem? The details. Let’s consider homes with multiple devices, they should be able to communicate with each other. Whichever device is closest to you should respond instead of every device waking up at the command word. One device hearing “cancel timer” should turn off the timer no matter what device you started that timer on. Why am I walking into the kitchen to say things so that the other device doesn’t hear me from across the room? These devices should be working together across a household. This is supposed to be a smart home isn’t it?

These technologies are amazing. I am sincerely impressed at what they can do. But, let’s ship them off to complete strangers for two weeks and let them ride it out to see what the devices can’t do. Let them figure out the queries that are common for people to use, but just don’t work. App developers are doing amazing things and also falling short.

In what ways have your convenient technologies become inconvenient? What simple things are falling short for you? Comment below!