Technological developments have certainly changed people’s lives considerably. One’s behavior is considerably dependent on promotion of products, especially technological ones. It can be seen that technological promotions such as the ‘smart house’ is something that can be promoted easily, and therefore has a greater tendency to bust its way into a person’s life.
People who purchase this technology and have it installed at home realize the difference that it makes in their lives. More and more processes within their homes come under their control, and even if one is out s/he may still be able to control all appliances. With the amount of convenience a ‘smart house’ technology provides one with, it is no wonder that people would love to have it installed in their homes. Therefore, items such as ‘Smart Home’ are the kind that can really hit the market, but the fact is that there needs to be consideration given to its impact on consumers.
The cost also needs to be considered as well, along with the impact on those that cannot afford it. This is an important consideration because of the fact that the item is not freely available to all, and also has not been available at a reasonable cost. It is still early to say though how it will all eventually work out, but for the time being one can only debate over the possible repercussions .
Considering the high cost of a ‘smart house’ system, it is said that many people cannot afford it. In view of this, there are many that would point fingers at a company that does produce these goods and release it in the market. In this regard, even if a company that produces ‘smart house’ goods tries to represent itself as an ethical firm people might not readily accept it. The fact that it provides appliances that are so costly would make it seem like a rip off. People want systems that are within their reach; these systems do not have to be dirt cheap, but certainly should be something affordable. However, this is not the case as a ‘smart house’ system is a costly product to produce in the first place (Communicating Objects, 2005).
Those that can afford to invest in new technologies for the purpose of improving their lifestyles would certainly do so, and depending on their social placement in society they would be able to. Some people would want to go in for certain technologies because of the fact that they see many other people acquiring it. Hence, here as well, there is need to look forward to the benefits. From an ethical point of view it is worth asserting that there is a real need to look into what a technological development does. In view of this, it must be asserted that there is need to consider the social influence caused by the introduction of a ‘smart home’ technology. It must be asserted that such a technology influences people to become more dependent ion technology and not remain in touch with handling tight schedules themselves (Lange, 1996).
For those that can afford a ‘smart house’ system, people will automatically think that they are on a higher platform than they are economically and socially. However, most people that purchase this technology do so for their own convenience if they can afford. Many also would purchase to reinforce their beliefs that they are at the highest strata of society. Some people might simply do it to compete with others that have it, and this is basically where the bulk of the ethical concerns lie.
People may be influenced to compete for such thing at the high-class level simply for the sake of status. This is considered to be unreasonable, and there should be some say about it in some form at least. If the law cannot intervene in such a matter, it must be asserted that there needs to be some ethical views announced independent of the law. However, at the same time, it must be asserted that individuals in a democratic country have the right to purchase what they want as long as it is not illegal and harmful for others in society. No doubt there may be social implications such as people leading lives that are far too mechanized, but it is also the choice of individuals to choose what they want (Lange, 1996).
It is also worth considering that there is certainly a great deal that can be achieved when one makes use of technology. Of course, the initial expenditure is on the system that one invests in, but after that it is the benefits that one looks forward to. In this view, it must be considered that human beings need to feel comfortable, and they would be more than willing to invest significant in comforting their lifestyles if they can afford to do so. However, again it must be asserted that it is the financial part of the process that plays an important role in the ethical sides to this issue.
Considering the ethical part of the relationship between the consumers and producers, companies that produce ‘smart home’ technologies at high prices may be questioned; the larger segments of society that cannot afford it may need justification for the high cost. This could make a company unpopular as well even though the product may be recognized.
A ‘Smart Home’ technology however, can be one of the most important and valuable products in time to come. It is essential that corporations creatively and vigorously work towards lowering the cost of the product and also popularize the fact that such technologies will be necessary in the future of this already fast-paced world. In this way they would be able to sell more of their products and also enable more people to use their products. As far as the mechanization of life is concerned, it is thought that people will be compelled to organize their lives with the help of technologies such as the ‘smart home’ one, as the pace of life today leaves one with little choice.
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