The idea of technology companies churning out too much new technology for the average person to digest is not a new one. I first heard the theory in 1986 and I'm sure it started well before thatwith the first three-wheeled ox cart, perhaps?
But I think we have gone to far when we start applying wireless technology to parking.
That's right, there's a Silicon Valley company headed up by an MBA that wants to embed ZigBee or ZigBee-like sensors in parking places (public and private, off-street and on).
The idea, of course, is to maximize revenue for the municipalities and private parking lots that deploy the technology. As an added feature sure to be popular with drivers, the system will also inform people in heavily-parked cites where a space is available.
That might, of course, result in more collisions as 10 drivers race pell-mell toward the same space. We might also see a spike in altercations over parking spaces because some people think "that space is mine" as soon as their cell phone beeps and and the location scrolls across the display.
I can't say why, but this idea seems like an intrusion on my personal space. It may be because (as my wife insists) I have good "parking karma." Yes, I seem always to be able to find an empty space quickly.
I certainly don't like the idea of being monitored for compliance. Call me a scofflaw but sometimesusually when I know I'll only be a few minutesI park and don't plunk a quarter in the slot.
With the proposed system, however, I might have a meter maid or two speeding in my direction as soon as I leave the car.
Talk about technology overshoot! The next generation park-at-your-own-risk system will probably be able to give me an electronic ticket. That is, it would just dial up the bureau of parking and tell them my car is 10 seconds overparked.
Now that's a sobering thought.