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Techno-tripping

Documenting our journey from sharp sticks to garage door openers

Andy Bolig - December 01, 2011 10:00 AM

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It all began simply enough. As the world was whizzing by, enthusiasts were happily grasping onto this entity that showed so much promise – technology.

Progress dictates that there should be an ever-moving shift from the way things have always been done, to something different and presumably better. In the case of warfare, there has been a gradual move from using sharp sticks all the way up to nuclear fission.

For the enthusiast, you could say that the equivalent of nuclear fusion occurred when they started hooking up batteries to our carburetors. Oh, it started out simple enough with just a servo or two, designed to lean out our rides under cruising situations to help them use less fuel, and consequently, spew out less emissions. Then, like the discovery of gunpowder, this new technology showed so much promise that it began to take on a focus of its own.

Instead of simply being an addition to our carburetors, those quirky ions started dictating our engine’s diet of fuel altogether. Now, instead of the usual forces of nature like vacuum, fuel pressure and the venturi effect, our cars were running cleaner, faster and more fuel efficient, thanks to a little silver box stuffed in the car’s interior and that big black one, called a battery, that has resided quietly underhood, waiting till the day it could reveal its full potential. There are even some who are convinced that as of yet, it STILL hasn’t shown us all it can do.

Like the sands of time — or, more accurately, in conjunction with them — progress has wholeheartedly embraced technology and has begun to infuse it into almost every aspect of our lives. There is no denying that the Internet has become a major player in our lives. Now we can do everything from turning on lights and monitoring our homes, to starting our cars in the driveway. In fact, Craftsman (www.craftsman.com) has introduced a new garage door opener that now has connectability. Their new Craftsman AssureLink™ garage door openers allow you to open or close your garage door via the AssureLink Internet gateway and a compatible Apple or Android app for your mobile device. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve either called home or made the loop around the neighborhood to check that my garage door IS indeed closed. I have to say that I am probably more attentive to ensuring that it is than many others might be, but it does give me some peace of mind.

Maybe this new type of garage door opener (and more importantly – closer) was built for people just like me. If it was, then it would definitely have provisions for checking that it was closed, and not just clicking a button and having faith that it in fact did close. Maybe a status report, available at any time from your mobile device, would help me to save a little fuel, not having to make that extra trip around the neighborhood. Maybe, for those who wish for a little more security, there might be an option for a micro-camera stashed away inside the housing somewhere. Possibly even integration into the house’s security system so that if the garage door opens while the house is secure, there would be an instant alert go out to your mobile device, along with a snippet of the aforementioned video for an instant update. There are many options available to the enthusiast/homeowner with this new technology and, to be honest, it is just in the early stages of development and has a long way to go to reach its full potential. But then again, isn’t that always the way with progress?

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