In the four years since the first iPad was released in 2010, 200 million of them have been sold. We’re approaching 2 billion smartphone users and around 98% of households in the industrialized world have at least one TV. In short, there’s a hell of a lot of technology out there. A hell of a lot of ways to get lost in a screen and lose connection with real people, in real life. Dolmio — makers of pasta sauce — are behind the development of a sneaky pepper shaker that not only spices up your meals but also acts as a switch to turn off electronic devices in your house.
It’s not quite as exciting as a James Bond-like device that sends out an electromagnetic burst. It does take setting things up: A control box between the pepper shaker and all the devices needs to be configured to either act as a power switch (eg for televisions, modems, computers) or to control networked devices (eg laptops and smartphones). Furthermore, those mobile electronics need to have a piece of software installed on them, so you’d have to go a little 007 on your kids’ phones to do that.
The pepper shaker that may just bring your family together again is still in early development stages so unfortunately it won’t be available for consumers anytime soon.