Idiot Lights For Everyone!

Posted by admin on February 5, 2018 in Randomalities |
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My car went on the blink last week. Literally. As you may recall, my Saturn VUE was a parting gift from my relationship in Florida. It has since been pressed into relatively light duty, driving about two miles to the transit center each day. It is a 2004, but still has only 108,000 miles on it.

On Sunday, I took it on a long road trip, if you can call driving to Ballard a road trip. Somewhere along the way, a light came on just above the gas gauge. It was an idiot light telling me to do something with something called an engine.

As I said before, I’m no mechanic. I’m the guy that goes out and looks at another guy’s new car and nods a lot as he shows it to me. Inevitably, he will pop the hood and ask me to admire what’s under it. This is how I learned where the engine was in your average car.

Thanks to the Internet, I was able to look up what this orange light meant on my car. My VUE wanted me to check the engine. So I walked out, popped the hood and looked inside. Yup, the engine was there all right. Check!

The light still didn’t go off though. Before you start yelling “check the gas cap” I did that too. It was locked on tight.

I resigned myself to the fact that it would have to take it to the shop to see what the mysterious code said. It seems Saturns have a lot of codes that the average code reader can’t read, so a light usually means a trip to the dealer.

That night, I began to wonder if in this technological world of ours, why can’t we have idiot lights for our bodies? I want my installed along my forehead, since that space is pretty useless anyway.

The idiot lights could be for all sorts of things. As in a car, we could have a light that comes on when our heart is misfiring or we’re about to stroke out. Another light could let us know that we’re out of alignment a bit and should see a chiropractor. A little headlight could come on to let us know that our eye prescription probably needs to be checked.

Handy, huh? You’d think with all this technology and big data where every bit and byte is analyzed and dissected, that some enterprising entrepreneur would come up with something like this.

Imagine how this would revolutionize healthcare. As you’re getting ready for work in the morning, a thermometer lights up on your forehead. You know you’ve got a fever. Next, a snowflake pops up and moments later, you get the chills. Your idiot lights told you were sick before you even knew it.

No more calling the doctor and saying you think you may be sick. Log on to your doctor’s office website and connect via video. All the nurse has to do is look at that row of idiot lights shining on your forehead to know what needs to be fixed.

You could go much further with the idiot lights, too. One could pop on to let you know you may have flat feet. A little door could come on if you left your fly open after going to the bathroom. A tread light could let you know that you have skidmarks as well.

By now, I can tell you’re getting pretty excited about this whole idea. How about a light that comes on when your fluids are low? You’d never have to wonder if dehydration is causing your hallucinations anymore. Your idiot light would do all the heavy lifting and let you know when it’s time to drink some fluids.

I’m sure some entrepreneur is reading this right now and nodding his head, thinking, “Yeah, we could do that!” People are willing to wear glasses that record every moment of their life and wear FitBits that report all sorts of data about their activities and even their heart rate, so why not connect up a bunch of idiot lights so you don’t even have to look at the data? When something’s wrong or needs attention, an idiot light pops on.

I for one would love this new technology. After all, I’m pretty tech-savvy. I usually glom onto the latest innovations and technologies, partly out of curiosity and partly because I want to know if they will actually improve the quality of my life.

They usually fall short, of course. Alexa still can’t understand the most mundane items to be added to my shopping list. Siri has a love-hate relationship with me regularly. Yesterday, when I asked her to call my wife, she started dialing the last wife, not the current one. I think she’s just jealous that she doesn’t have a significant technology in her life.

But the idiot lights thing. That shows promise. Eventually, other companies would get into the act and create a diagnostic gadget that would tell you want the error code meant. It would be able to tell you the difference between a heart attack and indigestion, or let you know that the wiper light only means that your glasses are dirty, not that you need a new prescription.

I would love to see the day when this all happens. Unfortunately, I have no idea how long I will be here since I don’t have an idiot light that could tell me. You know the one. The oldometer light that comes on when it’s time to head for that great junkyard in the sky.

Still wondering about the idiot light on my car? It went out all by itself, the day after I brushed all the leaves and nuts some squirrel had salted away under the hood. The vent it was blocking must’ve been important, I guess.

In the Emerald City, forever an idiot savant in more ways than one,

  • Robb

 

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