What do you buy just to destroy

The Friday column - What you buy will be destroyed

What you buy is destroyed

Products that we will buy in the future do not really belong to us, or not entirely.

The agent in a raincoat and slouch hat pulled the secret paper from a hiding place and read the latest order. At the end it was said: "After reading this document, this document destroys itself." The agent was still skimming the said line when it already knocked, and he stood there with a blackened turnip.

The scorched secret agent was a running gag in Pink Panther cartoons years ago. Meanwhile, reality has caught up with parody: things we buy can actually self-destruct. Or they are simply switched off, "deactivated", by the manufacturer.

The latest example is the “Glass” data glasses from Google. A device that shows in the corner of your eye everything that has been running on smartphones or tablets so far. There are still test glasses available. The piece costs $ 1,500.

One of them quickly put the glasses up for auction on Ebay. The bidders quickly rocketed to $ 90,000 when the company stepped in. Google reserves the right to “deactivate the device” if necessary.

For the customer of the future this means: What he buys and pays for does not belong entirely to him. Somewhere an employee of the company simply presses “Delete” if something gets out of hand in his eyes.

Cars in which you no longer have to turn the key to start the engine, which only happens after identification of the legal owner, buck even now if the wrong person is in it.

In the future, such digital cars could also be switched off as soon as the owner is in arrears with a leasing rate, for example. Let him see for himself how he comes home on the Autostrada del Sole. The breakdown man in the distant company headquarters looks on and laughs himself limply.

This gives manufacturing companies even greater power over their products. In 2009, Amazon simply deleted a novel that had accidentally sold on the readers of many buyers. The beautiful stair joke: The author of the novel was called George Orwell ("1984"). So watch out! After reading this text, it destroys itself.