Bykevin stewart, writer at
From Mattel's Viewmaster to a master of viewing, writing and expression
kevin stewart

Did you know that the lines "Mirror Mirror On the Wall" uttered by that bad witch of a woman in Snow White is no longer the domain of a Fairy Tale? That's right, mirrors have been married to technology and the products being offered in mirroring is a reflection of post modern retailers. Soon in the fitting rooms of select department stores, mirrors will be transmitting and feeding you more than a doppelganger of yourself.

While we marvel at two-way mirrors used both in real life and televised investigative techniques, its unsettling to think that the privacy we come to expect in the commercial area may began serve as the great oz: powerful yet hidden. Here is the rub: Remember this scene from the movie MINORITY REPORT starring Tom Cruise? Its the one where we see Cruise walking past a streams of video-like billboards all barking his name with one sales pitch after another.

In that movie Cruise's character is on the run and would prefer to not have his location broadcast loudly as he scurries around. Yet he is at the mercy of the fiber optics implanted in his eyeballs. Turning to reality, when you factor in the fact that the chip technology used in smart phones enable Big Brother to track nearly your every move, should we not find these some of these 'new devices' as evidence of our dumbfounding-down to technology? Who is at the helm of guarding your most cherished information? From that mole on your inner thigh, to your actual waist size; do you trust that to wizard-like technician behind the curtain. My bet is, you may not want that information stored and spit out on the other side of that mirror. Such concerns turn the oft quote “Who is minding the store” into more an echo of “ MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL” than we want.

Movies (especially of the Science-Fiction variety) have come to play a crucial role in advancing societies. Not only do they provide fashion designers with contemplative imaginings, they can stimulate science to image the unimaginable. While the gap between science and fantasy has been closing, many products still stem from aggressive merchandizing and corporate tie-ins. The closings in on other areas of our lives can be come claustrophobic. With smart mirrors, data is data according to machines, but private information is valuable both way, private for you and me, usable for retailers. Its not like sharing the darkness in theater with strangers. Thats a social norm.

To be fair while we dumb down with innovations, we get to relax and enjoy aspect of our lives we previously found time consuming. GPS navigate us to grand mother's house. No more fooling with clumsy paper maps. On-star unlocks the cars of those who lock themselves out. No more responsibility. On a smaller scale, action figures of STAR WARS, that once enables the child in us (and the children we rear) to continue the saga of our favorite characters become passe. Now video games out gun real real “make believe” every day..every night..whenever. We have become all but quiet under on-onslaught of the evolutions of artificial intelligence. A study my Microsoft has found that the average attention span of a average young person has dropped to about eight seconds. What other concerns should we have when those who tinker with technology began to prey on our time honored traditions of privacy rather than provide toys with which to play?

Remember the movie ENEMY OF THE STATE? The technology in that thriller seems too move so fast that it outpaced reality. Images from satellite meshed with surveillance videos. Even to footage taken from a camera inside a woman’s boutique. Will Smith's was made to look guilty even as we the audience knew he as the victim of a smear campaign. The wizardry of editing fueled our frenzy, yet Tony Scott meshed our fears of technology with hyper-reality to make a point about the abuse of power. With images all one needs is a narrative to dictate the meaning of the images being streamlined. While the villainy of the John Vought and his cadre of underlings in Enemy are fictitious, in reality search engines such as GOGGLE and websites such as FACEBOOK, are finding themselves sitting more and more before tribunals seeking answers to privacy concerns than they are before their personal computers (PC'S) writing program. Anti-trust cases . Should our naked bodies become streamlined into the database of department stores?

We allow movies to provide us with entertainment. We often mimic or favorite actors, use the costumes to find our styles and manners of dress. Sometimes we find their most memorable catch-phrases used without thought. Humans love movies and movies come to use as technology. Now that companies are creating and re-creating ways to improve our lives, should we always go along with them just because they are called SMART? Smartphones, smart cars, smart watches....Now smart mirrors? "



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