Monday, November 17, 2008

Keep Your Hands Off My TOK715

So Apple and Google each have a new app that (in my opinion) was designed to sell more handsets; though not in the way you might expect. The Punch-O-Meter for Android and a similar app for the iPhone (not sure what it’s called, don’t use iAnything) both sound interesting at first glance. The app makes use of your Smartphone’s accelerometer; you start it up, hold it firmly (hopefully) and take your best punch in the air. Then you get a read-out of your manliness or lack of it.

For innovative or imaginative use of technology I’d give this about an eight. As for how much I want it on my phone; it’s pretty much a big fat zero. First of all, from my experience with three boys and a Wii, the idea of taking an electronic device and giving them a reason to swing it violently is an invitation for someone getting smacked or other items in your home getting broken.

Secondly, you know somebody’s going to fling their phone. Ever hear stories of people damaging their new iPhone’s screen from dropping it? What happens to it when you let go of it after swinging it as hard as possible? As a business model, for retailers this is probably the best app ever. Why bother with a planned obsolescence scheme when you can get people to actively destroy their devices? There’s some benefit for the rest of us as well. I’m just giddy with anticipation for the posts and stories from all the people that have flung their phones onto the floor, into walls, into the toilet, whatever.

Third, this is the kind of app where the novelty wears off pretty quickly. So you download it and try it out a few times until you’re satisfied you’ve attained your best score possible. Then you move on to your spouse, kids, whoever is handy. With luck you’ve out done them. If not; you keep trying until you do or else you find away to cheat it / hack it so that you can retain some of your vanity.

So now you’ve bested (or cheated) the wife and kids and need to move on to bigger challenges. You show your friends, co-workers, random strangers on the street. Then what? It doesn’t do much else if you’re using it for the designer’s original intentions. But where does it go from there? Here are some options.

Tired of swinging at thin air? You know people are going to do this one, “Hey Bob, you punch me and I’ll punch you, we’ll see who punches the hardest.”

How about testing the limits of your vehicle? How many stars can you get by accelerating really fast and braking really hard? You know some teenagers are going to try this out. Glad my new house is on a cul-de-sac. I’m hanging back a few extra meters from anybody from now on.

The porn and sex toy industry is bound to get in on this technology. They’ve already come out with an iPhone vibrator accessory for men; yeah that’s right; a vibrator ring you plug your iPhone into. For those of you who require elaboration or are into purchasing one you can find it here. When you see a co-worker making call after call but not actually talking to anybody I’d give him some privacy. The women are well represented in this market as well. Their slogan is “Feel the music”. Not sure if I’d be classical, hard rock or metal. Perhaps start with some Kenny G and finish off with some Metallica. This gives us some new Shake to Shuffle options anyway.

I’m sure it won’t be long until this technology is hacked from a recording of your start stop motion to actively displaying a constant reading of the device in motion. It’ll change things from “Slow, now Faster, Faster, Faster” to “Two stars baby ... Yeah that’s it, now gimme three stars ... FIVE STARS! FIVE STARS! FIVE STARS!”

Ahh the wonders of technology; we have come so far from flipping through National Geographic topless African women. As for me, I’m holding out for Cyberdyne Systems to roll out their TOK715 model Terminator. Wonder if it’ll be user customizable? I love Summer Glau but wouldn’t it be great if you could mix and match? Hope Apple doesn’t build it though. When it comes time to replace the battery who knows what the techs will be doing with it ones it’s out of your sight. You can borrow my car; I’d even let you have a sip of my Coke without wiping the rim but keep your hands (or anything else) off my TOK715.

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