I guess most people know that we now have talking ATM’s scattered around. If you haven’t been to one before, there’s a prime example over at the corner of 34th and 9th Avenue. I’ve always liked them for the most part, they usually make me smile, and if someone’s standing next to me I sometimes feign deep-surprise when the machine starts talking, like I’d never heard one before, just for fun. But today I asked myself, “Why did they make talking atm’s in the first place?” and my initial thought was that they’re for the blind. But, in case I’m mistaken, they don’t say much (yet!) beyond, ‘Welcome to this ATM” blah blah blah and “Please Take Your Money.” And I just thought if in fact they did make talking ATM’s primarily for the blind, that certain blind people might be offended. For one, no one, in my estimation, blind or not, has ever felt slighted because the ATM hasn’t welcomed them after they inserted their card. And also, when the money comes out, it makes a very distinct sound that would clue in any competent blind person that their money is ready for pick-up. I imagine the ATM being all “Please Take Your Money” and some blind person grabbing her twenties in a huff retorting, “Yeah, I know thanks.” (I chose to make my hypothetical blind person feminine, was that inapproprate?)
The only other reason I can think of for Talking Atm’s would be so you don’t forget your card, but this ATM was a swiper, not a card-inserter! Just wanted to throw the question out there: are talking atm’s in fact just new technology for new technology’s sake??