Despite being reconciled to many annoying things, I still harbor palpable resentment against the abominable GE “puffer” machine in which I was assaulted last October.
I really hope this vile contraption goes the way of the dodo bird, and that those who conceived it are reassigned to some task with zero human interface – soldering circuit boards for example.
I have not bought a single GE lightbulb, toaster, or refrigerator, since my experience with this abusive industrial waste. The sight of their logo makes me change stores.
Is there a “Worst User Interface of All Time” award for which I can nominate this thing? Or an “Industrial Designer Least Likely to Succeed” dinner for its inventors? Please convey my nomination – and that I've seen some bad design before, and know of what I speak.
‘Whatâ€™s it like? People, I really hated the GE product. It is tiny, and closes around you. I felt seriously claustrophobic. Then it shot bursts of air at me so hard it actually hurt. I had been told there would be â€œpuffs of airâ€, but these were not, by any definition, puffs. â€œPuffsâ€ make me think of cigar smoke. Or â€œPuff the magic dragonâ€. Puffs of wind. But these were hurricane strength blasts. Meanwhile the machine barks orders like a concentration camp commandant. Where did they get the voice? It speaks in a chilling metallic imperative borrowed from a really bad science fiction movie. In fact it was barely believable that adults would unleash this contraption on anyone.’
I have to agree. I got â€œpuffedâ€ on a return trip to Seattle last November and had a similar reaction to Cameronâ€™s. The woman in the security line behind me also got puffed and we chatted a bit afterward comparing our experiences. We both thought it extremely weird. Neither one of us had the dreaded â€œSSSSâ€ on our boarding passes indicating to security personel that we were suspects. Both of us had purchased our tickets well in advance. Both of us were traveling round-trip. In fact, we both looked exactly like the 30-something knowledge-worker wage-slaves that we were. Weird.
Cameron does a good job of explaining the feeling of being inside one of these things. Itâ€™s like a sci-fi gas chamber. Your thoughts trend toward, â€œWhat happens if the machine detects something? Will robotic arms shoot out and immobilize me? Will a tranquilizer gas be released? Will a trapdoor open sending me sliding down to some underground holding cell?â€ Itâ€™s creepy.
A lot could be done to improve the experience. But in addition to making it more â€œpeople friendlyâ€ how about adding features that might get people to want to be puffed? How about turning it into an â€œair showerâ€ that blows dust, germs and microbes off your body? Maybe it could use ionization to clean your skin? This would help make air travel be less of a burden on the immune system. If weâ€™re going to have sci-fi security systems, why shouldnâ€™t we have sci-fi personal care systems, too?