Hand-Held Hand Hell - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
10/21/2005
02:40 PM
Patricia Keefe
Patricia Keefe
Commentary
50%
50%

Hand-Held Hand Hell

As if carpal tunnel wasn't bad enough - it appears we now have digit-specific repetitive stress to look forward to, or dodge as the case may be. I guess this means I'd better steer clear of the BlackBerry and other such tiny-keyboarded gadgets. Rats. Just as I was beginning to warm up to the idea, too. It was hard enough getting over the aging eyesight issue, I mean, can you really read those things? I see peopl

As if carpal tunnel wasn't bad enough - it appears we now have digit-specific repetitive stress to look forward to, or dodge as the case may be.

I guess this means I'd better steer clear of the BlackBerry and other such tiny-keyboarded gadgets. Rats. Just as I was beginning to warm up to the idea, too. It was hard enough getting over the aging eyesight issue, I mean, can you really read those things? I see people all over the place with BlackBerries held a foot from their faces, furiously paddling away with their thumbs for all they are worth. (I was already braced for the inevitable debate with myself - glasses on or off for this one?)But I don't think I am up to adding "Berri-itis," or "Blackberry Thumb" as it's called, on top of my already alternately tingling and numb extremities. I can't think without a keyboard, but eventually I probably won't be able to type on one. Then I'll have to start worrying about voice strain as I do battle with voice recognition programs. "IT, not 'iced tea!' "

Who knows, maybe someday down the road, we'll be reading about a frequent flier malaise focused this time not on a specific digit, the thumb, but a specific section of the thumb, i.e. the thumb print. Stemming most likely from the use of biometric passenger ID systems. "Please have your boarding pass ready, and your thumb up!" Maybe you'll even be able to pick out the faint afterglow on some of those frequent fliers who sport the accumulated effects of time spent passing through those fancy schmancy "strip 'em naked" security scanning systems that are now being tested. Or perhaps the country will become dotted with madly blinking workers, suffering from dry-eyed overexposure to biometric eye scan devices substituted for the mountain of passwords we all used to accumulate. With toddlers tackling computers these days, we're probably poised for a wave of 12-year-old carpal tunnel victims. "Yo Dude!, not 'attitude!' "

Once the hands, eyes, elbows and knees are shot, future generations of convenience and mobile products may have to turn to the feet, which seem to be the only part of our body that is not currently under threat from some repetitive motion. Foot-helds, anyone? This would naturally lead to the creation of specialized Tevas for business users, a revolution in ruggedized seat-back trays, and the onset of "foot-hell" once the inevitable technical difficulties kick in.

There's a yin to every yang I guess. But there's always bionics. We're just going to have to wait for it to catch up with the various technological advances (and leisure activities) that are grinding our moveable body parts to a crawl. Let's hope it gets here soon, because until then, you know we're all going to keep tapping, whacking, pecking, clicking and pounding away until our fingers freeze in place or our wrists snap off.

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