The future of mobile is stupid, futile -- and irresistible

Flammable iPhones, LG's honking curved screens, Scentee's aromatherapy tech: Rest assured, we'll eat them all up

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LG was all over CES with its new curved phone this year, and we lapped it up like spring breakers doing belly shots off strippers' navels. Only with supreme effort can we stop and consider: Who the hell needs a 6-inch curved phone that's almost bigger than Conan O'Brien's head? I suppose you could stick it down the front of your pants in some lame attempt to impress the ladies -- which will work right up until someone calls you and your crotch starts blaring your "We Are the Champions" ring tone. Or you can stick it in your hip pocket so that your butt can crush it the next time you sit down.

There's little necessary about a curved phone, but for some reason we're eagerly waiting to plunk down our hard-earned college fund dollars to get our grubbies on one. This thing made the top 10 at CES, for Pete's sake.

The sweet smell of stupidity

Last, there's the coup de grâce to consumer intelligence: Scentee. This is the latest why-the-hell-would-you-do-this technology to come from Japan. It's a $35 plug-in compatible with flaming iPhones or curvy, hulking Androids that attaches via the headphone socket to provide a wide range of scents to replace audible ring tones. This stuff can drive a man to drink, and as usual I'm proof: My coffee is now from Ireland.

The range of smells that Scentee provides is surprisingly long, including the likes of cinnamon roll, coffee, lavender, and coconut, among many others. The weirdest one is corn soup, but I'm sure it won't remain the weirdest one for long. There absolutely has to be a hacker in Nigeria working on a Fortune 500 commission coming up with a fart smell that ruthless executives can use to cripple each other's careers in crowded conference rooms. New Jersey may be building one to try and mask the way Elizabeth smells near Exit 13 on I-95. Maybe Microsoft will get in the game and figure out a physical representation of for code smell.

There are more examples, like the ill-fated now-forgotten Nokia and HTC models that tried to convince us that a phone could produce Dolby Surround Sound. Or the new Samsung Gear almost-smart watch that adds innovative features like low battery life and the ability to read your email on an even smaller screen for only $300 extra. It goes on.

It's a depressing trend, this must-have fever that obliterates all rational thought. What if some freak engineers really get mobility down to a minichip and start offering to implant them in our heads? How many of us will eagerly line up like sheep to take the first steps toward Cylonism at an Apple Store by a zit-faced high school kid working for minimum wage? It makes me forget nutrition and look at my breakfast menu for an item to wash down the alcohol.

When's the iPhone 6 coming out?

This article, "The future of mobile is stupid, futile -- and irresistible," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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