McAdams On: Vacation

What finer word in the English vernacular than “vacation?” It’s a wonderful way to keep one’s head from exploding, but a temporary break from the news race these days is like spending a few decades in cryogenic sleep. Especially when it comes to technology. TVs have taken on so many functions in the last few months that they’re not really TVs anymore, but rather portals into the electromagnetic field.

TVs deliver 3D video, 5.1 audio, content from the Internet, music, commerce, movies on demand and video calls from far-flung friends. By the time I get back in the saddle in September, I expect Radio Shack to be offering Brain Field, a new video game in which players create images on the screen with brain waves through electrodes taped to their heads. A third-party developer will come up with the electrode-free infrared version two days later. The following week, a seven-year-old savant in Mechanicsville, Pa., will use it to create a new race of light beings.

There will of course be apps up the wazoo. Millions will download the Mood Light app that lights up the TV screen according to the room’s “energy.” E.g., Bono+Nelson Mandala=bright white, while Bono+Mel Gibson=kind of brown, and Prince=duh.

Similar to the Mood Light app, the Grow Light app will mimic sunshine, and the iSpy app will track the location of all downloads, revealing heavy traffic for the Grow Light app in Humboldt County, Calif.

The New You app will reflect your face and body the way you wish you looked. It will be integrated into video conferencing. Human contact will diminish substantially. The use of laundry soap will decline.

Virtual pet apps will abound. Tropical fish, wheel-spinning hamsters, sleeping snakes. The Mister Ed app is a horse, of course, that talks back to you. Mobile enthusiasts will download Purse Dog app for that Rodeo Drive effect without the slobber. There will be endless apps featuring cats sleeping, making faces, playing the piano, sleeping, batting a sock, running, pouncing and sleeping.

The Whazzat app supports remote-control painting and sculpting of actual objects that can be instantly shipped to loved ones longing for something hand-made. Ish.

Hypno will make people think they’ve stopped smoking. The Zapper will attract and electrocute flying insects. The Radar Baby will cook hotdogs within 12 inches of the screen. The Vroomba will turn robotic vacuum cleaners into hyperactive obstacles to be danced around in a salsa-like fashion. Oh Snap! lets users wrest control of Naval drones and fly them in restricted airspace over Washington, D.C.

Whatever is an app that takes over in a boring conversation. Dream On will interpret nocturnal hallucinations and match people with similar disturbances. Conjure will bring a light being to the front door, and Incarnation will program it to do your work. While you are on vacation. Blissfully clueless.

Type at you in September. Ta ta for now.