On humans and gadgets

Author: Emin Mathers


The advent of the smartphone marked the combining of human and gadgets. These devices might not be embedded into our forearms just yet, but they have fundamentally changed how we interact and explore over the past decade. Today, they even augment the world itself. We're each wholly devoted to these flat rectangle bars, rarely let them out of our grasp or, at the very least, they are rarely out of reach.

Ever since the first generation iPhone, released in 2007, the smartphone has been transforming from novelty to necessity. As our digital addiction grew, so did our dependence on intangible tools—apps. 

Today the smartphone is practically as necessary to humans as oxygen. It can quickly call up any crumb of knowledge discovered in human history, letting us answer "How to calculate the length of a circle" via Google and end debates on any topic in seconds. It lets us produce art, document global events and let our voices be heard at any instance from anywhere. It can help us find like-minded people, organize online meetups across borders on special days, save and share our memories, even translate from an alphabet that does not exist anymore—or encourage us to hang in uncertainty as we endlessly hunt for "Likes". It has taken over our wallets and stereos, diaries and sketchbooks, cameras and maps, newspapers and game consoles. Apps transform our smartphones into a book, a TV remote, or a carpenter’s level.

Over the past thirteen years, the smartphone has created an “always online” generation, priming us to respond to every digital stimulation. When 5G connectivity provides nanosecond connectivity, the capabilities of these tiny devices will grow, becoming an extension of ourselves on our way to the stars.




This is how most of us look from two to ten hours a day


to the Stars

A new and super simple solution, a flashlight on our phones, allowed us to overcome dangers and our own fears about the limitations of our bodies. This is how human beings are evolving into transplanetary beings.



Human beings first capitalized on their strength by making tools out of sharp stones. Now we use devices to analyze the world around us and record our experiences. We have replaced ancient stone tools with "iTool."



gTranslation is the collision and coexistence of two ages: the time when Azerbaijan used the Arabic alphabet and today, when the device in our pocket translates these words without us knowing a single stroke of the Arabic alphabet.


wayMark II

Our smartphone's ability to connect with satellites has fundamentally changed how we orientate ourselves in the world.



Even an ancient sharp tool used to feed the spiritual needs of human was replaced with a digital form of artistic creation.



Using tiny ear pods enables humans to communicate through space and time.



New technology means we can do practically anything from anywhere—even laying in the grass in a park. But it also creates a barrier between us and the natural world.


delivered Supper

We put down our hunting spears, refuse to cook from readily available products, and simply select from the seemingly endless options available online, waiting patiently until the food arrives at our door.


The pandemic revolutionized the role technology can play in even the most human of activities--celebration and interaction.


Published with the support of COBERM, a joint initiative of the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the organization Chai Khana and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of either the EU or UNDP.


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