A question of trust

A semi-interesting event occured when I was pulling out of the driveway. A gentleman waved me down looking for directions which was quite odd as he was on foot and holding a smartphone.

He asked where a certain organisaton was and already had the full address. But surely with the full address it would not be a problem? I thought. He was only 20 doors up from the location and the street doors were clearly marked and surprisingly were in ascending order. What is the issue? was the second thought and then it became apparent that he had entered the address into his smartphone GPS and the arrow was pointing at the end of the street. This is not uncommon as budget GPS software tends only to direct you to the postcode not the house number. They trust that once you get into the area you can count and find the address you are looking for and that is a fair enough assumption.

Now the gentleman had the address (which he entered into his smartphone) and his eyes / awareness of the surroundings and the funny thing was that he trusted the smartphone more than this awareness.

Which is a potential issue in the future as the makers of gadgets do not take the trust of the user into account. Quite the opposite, they rely on the user to use their own judgement. Though from the numerous people who have driven into rivers or up one way streets all because the sat-nav said so, it seems clear that people are placing a bit too much trust in their device.

Use your common sense and remember that the manufacturers of gadgets have already assumed you have it already.

12. March 2012 by Stuart Mains
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