Brain possibly next Bluetooth frontier

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

Christmas is great for many reasons:

Congress isn’t in session, so I have no reason to get upset about what elected officials are doing.

All kinds of once-a-year food items and television shows are available, including Mint M&M’s and “Home Alone,” a movie that’s just no longer realistic because now the kid would just text message his parents: “I’m just going to chill at home. Try not to get shot on vacation LOL.”

I get to witness Americans’ love-hate relationship with eggnog. It’s amusing every year when people somehow forget about this strange beverage, and by the end of the first glass they’re saying, “This should be available year-round,” only to ask halfway through their second glass, “Who drinks this garbage?”

Of course, there is the aspect of giving — and more importantly, receiving — gifts. By my definition, gifts are items you’d love to own, but would never actually purchase. Such items include DVD sets with collectible bookends (you know, to house the books you never read that they based the movie on) and a singing fish (I’m listing this one so you can let yourself off the hook and pretend somebody else bought it for you).

As of Monday, my personal gift wish list received one of those items I’d never buy — a Bluetooth headset for my cell phone. As I explained to my dad, Bluetooth-enabled devices emit signals to each other, allowing them to share information without using wires (i.e., trading address and phone information from your Bluetooth-enabled computer to your Bluetooth-enabled PDA). An average Bluetooth headset clips onto your ear, is small enough to fit inside the palm of a toddler’s hand and allows you to use your cell phone without ever taking it out of your pocket.

The problem with the headset’s size is that you sometimes can’t tell when somebody’s wearing one, and that’s the reason I never purchased one — it’s tough to tell who’s the person with the Bluetooth headset talking to a friend, and who’s the one talking to space aliens that only he can hear and see.

Now, I’m one of those people, and I’m further on the road to becoming the person I’ve always loathed. In just the past year, I’ve bought Barry Manilow songs online and rented a movie starring Justin Timberlake and LL Cool J — against better judgment.

I’m sure to do more stupid things, unless somebody invents the next technological miracle: the Bluetooth brain implant. Imagine the convenience of controlling your brain via another Bluetooth device. You could answer phone calls without a headset. You could set your brain to go to sleep at particular times so you don’t accidentally start watching Nick at Nite at 11 p.m. and say to yourself seven hours later, “‘Watching ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ wasn’t that important.” Or you could program your brain to never forget birthdays and anniversaries, so you don’t have to go to the post office and ask, “How much would it cost to get it there yesterday?”

I wonder if this device is actually being created right now (and if this column inspires somebody to do so, I want a cut). It’s a worthwhile device, but it would be so creepy and expensive at the start that I’d never, ever get one.
Unless, of course, somebody bought it for me as a gift.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico. He can be reached at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com