Review of a Few Gadgets

 

COM360 ( Professional Development ) Coursework Resit Semester 2 2015/16 The task 1.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show or CES in Las Vegas is traditionally the place where the electronics giants unveil their latest consumer technology innovations for the coming year. The 2016 show was held from 6 – 9 January. Review the event and produce a report which highlights up to 5 inventions/gadgets that could potentially present ethical problems for Computing Professionals. Clearly state what you believe the ethical problems to be and discuss whether these could be easily mitigated and how. Any queries can be directed to me either by phone or email.What you submit Do not exceed 3 pages, or go below 2 pages in length and focus on the issues involved in a concise manner. It is expected that reference will be made to relevant publications/legislation/codes of practice/case law as appropriate. References must be placed on an additional page, bringing maximum page count to 4.

 

INTRODUCTION

Consumer Technology Association organizes an annual trade show ‘The Consumer Electronics Show’. This year it was held from 6-9 January at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, United States. About 3600 companies participated in the show. The event hosted presentations of various upcoming new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry. 

EVENT REVIEW

The00displayed is presented below(www.pbs.org, 2016):
 
The Picobrew:  Displayed by the company PicoBrew. this product makes it possible to brew fresh beer at home. The appliance allows one to brew his/her own fresh pint of craft beer using the ready-to-brew “PicoPaks” that have been designed with the help of more than 100 craft breweries. It is targeted at those people who don’t like canned and bottled beer.
 
Ninebot Segwey Robot: It is a hover board that is equipped with two blinking eyes, a single tone robotic voice and small arms. It can recognize voice commands and has a camera built in its face. A person can even ride on it. It can reach up to a speed of 12 mph. It can drive itself around, moving through small spaces and obstacles. It can complete other simple tasks like opening the door.
 
Hair Max Laserband: It is a headset that can simulate new hair growth by increasing blood flow into the scalp. This device also claims to pulse 82 lasers in 90-second intervals to lessen thinning of hair and encouraging the hair to thicken.
 
LG Styler: It is a cupboard that can steam the clothes at home. The closet fills with hot steam once it is switched on and the vibrating hangers shake back and forth to remove the wrinkles and also deodorize the clothing. A built-in trouser press is there that keeps pant creases crisp. As per LG, this hot steam spray technology gets rid of more than 99 percent of germs and bacteria and removes about 92 percent of other chemicals that are left on the clothes after being dry cleaned.

Wonder Woof Bow Tie: It is a Bluetooth-connected device that can be attached to the collar of a pet animal and it tracks the pet’s activity level and suggests how much exercise they should be fed based on their breed, size and age. There is also a companion app that connects the dog owners with others in a given area.

 

ETHICAL ISSUES

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All the sophisticated gadgets displayed at the event present certain ethical problems. Ethics include the moral choices made by individuals related to the community, standards of ethical behavior, and rules governing the members of a profession. The ethical issues relating to these electronic gadgets and the information systems include:
a)    control of and access to information, 
b)    privacy issues and data leakage, and 
c)    various other international considerations. 
These ethical issues extend to the electronic networks, databases, as well as to the geographic systems. Specific problems for each of the three areas require slightly different approaches for ethical decisions (www.colorado.edu, 2004).
One of the biggest issues for all electronic gadgets is the generation of E-waste. These consist of discarded parts, items, toxic chemicals like arsenic, mercury, cadmium which are not easily recyclable also. The dumping of E-waste leads to contamination of groundwater and other environmental hazards. With newer technologies, newer gadgets and shorter product lifespan, the generation of E-waste is going to rise in future. Therefore, along with developing new devices, the companies must fulfill their ethical responsibility of minimizing hazardous waste production for the entire lifecycle of the product, from its production to disposal (thetechnologicalcitizen.com).
Another ethical issue facing the gadgets is their mass-production in low cost countries. People producing electronic gadgets in developing countries like china work for very low wages. The natural resources are also exploited to provide for the raw materials. Many companies try to avoid taxes by utilizing the legal loopholes in tax laws. The working conditions are also very poor as compared to developing countries. Many times workers suffer from work related diseases like silicosis due to inhalation of fumes and dust particles. The companies that displayed these new gadgets must keep these ethical issues in mind if they ever venture out for producing these items in the developing countries (www.shareable.net, 2010).

 

REFERENCES

a)    thetechnologicalcitizen.com. (n.d.). Retrieved 2016, from thetechnologicalcitizen: http://thetechnologicalcitizen.com/?p=2979
b)    www.colorado.edu. (2004). Retrieved 2016, from colorado: http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/ethics/ethics_f.html
c)    www.pbs.org. (2016). Retrieved 2016, from pbs: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/10-cutting-edge-gadgets-from-the-2016-consumer-electronics-show/
d)    www.shareable.net. (2010, July 19). Retrieved April 2016, from shareable: http://www.shareable.net/blog/demanding-ethical-gadgets


 

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