The best technology is invisible

Recently read two articles:

One comment that really resonated is:

Honestly, there are hardly any valid use cases for being able to control lights from your phone except for showing off.

Some of the best technology is invisible – it does its job and stays out of our way – it saves us time and enables us to focus on greater tasks. An example of this is the modern automobile. Most of them run without any fuss for well over 100,000 miles. We don’t have to continually be tuning/fixing the engine etc – it just does its job. This greatly simplifies the task of travel. Yes, a modern automobile is a very complex machine, but this complexity is largely invisible to the user.

At the opposite end of the technology spectrum we have social media. It is very visible, consumes our time, and most people who are attempting to accomplish anything in life largely avoid it.

As engineers, we can fall into the trap of liking to see the complexity of what we build – kind of like the complex machine housed in a clear case. However, most users just want it to work, and the more technology can do its job and get out of way, the more we can focus on the higher and more important things in life.