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How A Service Based Economy Leads To Us Renting Technology

More technology and more services mean we move towards a world where we rent what we also own.

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How A Service-Based Economy Shapes What We Own And What We Do

Call an Uber, book a room on Airbnb, download and use an app. Slowly, but surely, we’ve become renters of our own digital devices, music, movies, and many other things as the digital era continue to move forward.

However, with the development of technology, we’ve moved past the need for a retail store and middle man and jump straight to the manufacturer themselves. While smart homes and smart devices are designed to make our lives easier, they can also make our lives more difficult.

Renting Our Own Appliances

In 2015, Green Mountain Coffee, who manufactures the Keurig Coffee Machine, introduced their Keurig 2.0 with digital rights management (DRM). This meant that only the K-cups that were designed for that version of the coffee maker could be brewed. Some might argue that the company never recouped from this PR nightmare, which left coffee lovers in the dark. Instead of coffee drinkers being able to enjoy a roast from their local coffee shop, they were forced into drinking coffee and other drinks from large corporations.

The company waited too long to solve the issue and many retailers started to sell products which let coffee drinks drink coffee the way they want. However, the damage was done and longtime fans of the Keurig had moved on to competitors or the older versions of the Keurig. This, along with not offering recyclable k-cups tarnished the company’s reputation.

It’s not only these types of appliances which controlled what we could and could not drink. Any device that is a connected internet of things device can be controlled by the manufacturer. These smart devices can also cost the consumer more money when they need repairs. John Deere, Apple, and more devices will not work unless the repair parts are certified and from the original manufacturer. This means that the parts and repairs can cost more money and put more money into the pockets of the sellers.

The Argument For A Technology Service-Based Economy

Today, we’ve turned to a world of streaming, which is paying a monthly subscription fee for content. This content can be music, movies, games, and more. The idea started with HBO but took off with Netflix and Spotify.

These paid services gave users the impression that the content they were receiving was higher quality and more affordable than a typical cable subscription. And two years ago, that was true. Now, however, media giants are pulling their content from streaming services like Netflix to launch their own versions. It’s estimated that Netflix paid close to $100 million to WarnerMedia to continue to license Friends. In a turn of events, the one we rent from is also the renter.

Renting content can save us money in the long run in cases like music streaming and digital TV streaming services. Yes, there are other times when subscribing to a product or program can lead to it costing more money.

Adobe Creative Cloud is a wonderful and intuitive program however, subscribing to the apps will set users back financially. Prior to the Creative Cloud, users could purchase the programs and pay a flat fee. Now, users are forced into a subscription service. The upside of this is that their software will always be up-to-date and they will always have the newest versions. Yet, that convenience does come at a monthly cost that ranges from $20 and up.

The Argument Against Renting Technology

We’ve never truly owned anything. Even if you purchased a paper book at a Barnes & Noble, a movie at Target, or a physical album, these were all still owned by their original copyright holders. However, having a  physical copy gave the impression that it truly did belong to the customers.

Yet, upon uploading the movie or album, or scanning in copies of the book to the internet always infringed on copyright policies. Companies can now take back their service or product when they want, for any reason.

Amazon removed George Orwell’s 1984 from not only the Kindle Store but off anyKindles that purchased the book. At any time, even if you purchased a movie, episode, or song, Apple can revoke your purchase and you will lose access to that file. This has not changed, though a company would never show up at your house and pilfer through your bookshelf or record collection to take it back. Another instance is Apple’s infamous U2 debacle when they put the album on every single iPhone, even when users did not ask for it.

The Right To Repair Technology

While we might be at the mercy of tech, car, and digital device companies, many are fighting back with the support of “right to repair” legislation. This legislation essentially lets customers use and modify their electronic devices and not lose their warranty on the devices. There are currently eight states with proposed “right to repair” legislation, but Apple is ready to oppose it.

The legislation means that manufacturers would need to release the ways that electronic equipment can be repaired and also not brick a device that is repaired by a third party. This allows the customer to have more options in repairing their devices.

While some devices do fail, repair services cannot always recover the data on it. SecureData Recovery boasts a 96% success rate in data recovery for a wide range of media services. We perform our recoveries in Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom to prevent damage and never outsource recoveries to third parties. This ensures your data is kept safe. For free diagnostics, contact us today at 1-800-388-1266.

 

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