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If you ever feel as though we've spent so much time wondering how technology can make our lives easier that we forgot to ask ourselves how technology can make our lives stupider, allow me to introduce a "smart" salt shaker that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.
It's called Smalt, and even though it sounds like a fish-based paste that medieval prison guards might've spread on stale bread and fed to inmates, it's actually a real product that's allegedly getting its own Indiegogo campaign soon.
Let me break down how it works:
First, put some salt in your Smalt (Note: Do not skip this step—it's critical).
Next, curate a memorable experience—it can be a birthday party, an anniversary dinner, or just a quiet, reflective night at home. Now that you've settled on a backdrop, it's time to take it to the next level.
Pair your smartphone to Smalt, choose a soundtrack that compliments the occasion, and let Smalt do the rest. Congratulations—you are now on your way to a multi-sensory dining experience, courtesy of Smalt.
Picture this: You're at a carefully arranged dinner table seasoning broccoli for your spouse when, out of nowhere, the evocative voice of Tracy Chapman begins to waft throughout the dining room. "Honey," your loved one might say, "is your enormous salt shaker playing the critical and commercial hit song 'Fast Car?'"
In a pre-Smalt era, this is not a question that would ever be asked by anybody. But now, as your food basks in the ambient, green glow of Smalt's LED lights (yes, it lights up, too), you can turn to your spouse and say, "my love, the music that you're hearing is not only coming from my heart, but also from my Smalt."
You see, according to the Smalt website, Smalt—which sounds like something a doctor might call for to wake up an unconscious football player—is all about making "moment[s] more memorable with the color-changing mood light" and "surprising your guests" with a "fun, interactive way to shake salt."
Essentially, Smalt is a must-have product for anyone who's ever used a salt shaker and thought to themselves, "I guess this is fine, but I wish this shaker was louder and looked like something you'd find at Spencer's Gifts."
Apparently, this is not the first iteration of Smalt. My colleague Keith dug up an old press release from 2015 that described Smalt as "a simple way to measure, track and control" your salt consumption. I guess sometime in the last two years they decided to punt on this idea and just make a speaker with lights instead.
I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone took a good, hard look at the salt-shaking experience and realized what's missing is music and colored lights. After all, that whole "flying cars" thing isn't really panning out—we may as well use all this amazing technology we have just sitting around.
Its name may sound like a something a hunter would smear on a tree in order to attract deer, but reader, I hope you'll join me in saying, "pass the Smalt." It's the future we deserve.