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No, No Gadget?
September 10, 2013 4:41 AM   Subscribe

Have We Reached Gadget Fatigue? — Smartphones are everywhere, and smartwatches are poised to follow. Techies are eying Google Glass. And we now wear our technology on our sleeve. Have we finally reached gadget overload? From CIO, September 5, 2013.
posted by cenoxo (63 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I kind of agree with the premise that there are too many different gadgets, but the trend over the last 30 years has been convergence. The printer/fax/scanner combo or smartphone/camera are perfect example of there being, in fact, fewer types of gadgets.

However, the problem as I see is it that there is more stuff you can do with gadgets. I'm fairly tech savvy, and I know that Apple's cross-platform alert/messaging system would be perfect for my productivity, and I have all the hard/software...but I cannot for the life of me find the time to figure out how to use implement it properly.

So yeah, gadgets aren't bad but who the hell can keep up judging which things are worth doing with them?
posted by digitalprimate at 4:49 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, I'm finally about to get the two-way wrist radio (arrow pointing to watch) that I've always wanted...after that, we can talk about throttling back on the gadgets.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 4:58 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was happy as soon as the Motorola Razr fulfilled my boyhood dream of a Star Trek communicator. I still use it and still tempted to change ringtone to "Enterpise to Captain Kirk".
posted by BenPens at 5:02 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, Betteridge. You nailed it.

This story is a great demonstration of my maxim that any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word "no." The reason why journalists use that style of headline is that they know the story is probably bullshit, and don’t actually have the sources and facts to back it up, but still want to run it.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 5:08 AM on September 10, 2013 [31 favorites]


Can anyone explain the appeal of smartwatches to me? I have a coworker with one, and it seems like it's just a way to save the three seconds it takes to get your phone out of your pocket to see who texted you. If doesn't work without access to your phone, what's the point?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:13 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Gadget failures are not just because of a dumb idea.
90% of the time, yes. 10% of the time it might be malicious.

Baudrillard claimed there was a key difference between "tools" and "gadgets".

A tool is something that makes your life better or solves problems with less strain than whatever you did before. Having to remember a complex procedure to do something is the sign of a poorly thought-out tool.

A gadget is a device whose purpose cannot be defined. You can't figure out what problem it's trying to solve, though it may seem like it might solve some problems... maybe.

In either case, this is not something you should buy.

Smart companies develop good tools, and they feel effortless to use. You do not get fatigued of them.

Dumber companies product broken tools and gadgets.

So I think the problem is not "people are sick of gadgets" but "most tools on the market are garbage, and companies need to improve this or lose their customers."

Let's not blame this on some kind of paradigm shift of individualism.
posted by sixohsix at 5:13 AM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I did read the article, just to be clear, and it was everything I never wanted. I would clutch my pearls but they're at the jewellers for cleaning. I can't engage with a perspective that is arguing for nothing at all. Where is this dude's endgame? We should cut out that technological progress thing, guys.

I'm willing to bet he's a mac fan. Personally I can't wait to be in his cantankerous old man shoes when the police can read minds and my kids give me a heart attack by teleporting into my living room from Mars without the simple goddamn old world courtesy of a hologram beforehand. Philistines.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 5:17 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I may have not reached gadget overload but definitely charger overload. Every single drawer in the house is stuffed with a tangle of cables and power bricks for gadgets that we may or may not still own.
posted by octothorpe at 5:17 AM on September 10, 2013 [19 favorites]


Five years ago I carried a phone, an mp3 player and a camera. Now I just carry a phone. I'm careful not to buy things I dont need. I see no gadget overload problem.
posted by memebake at 5:24 AM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Can anyone explain the appeal of smartwatches to me?

- people have stopped wearing watches but surveys show the most frequent reason to 'wake' a smartphone is to check the time

.... combined with ....

- You know the notifications bit of the smartphone - it makes a noise and then you look at it - smartwatches are moving that to your wrist. It kindof makes sense
posted by memebake at 5:29 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


This was one of the least informative articles I have read. If gadgets are too much, do like the parents in the cited commercial, DON'T USE THEM.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:45 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone who still carries an ancient flip-phone (and, even then, really only for emergencies), I reached gadget-overload ages ago. To me, it often seems like our culture has slipped into some teenage geek's most fevered wetdream run amok, where heaps and heaps of bright and shiny technology du-jour is thickly slathered over every last aspect of our lives, come hell or high water, and you'll bloody damned-well like it.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:53 AM on September 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


I'm not overloaded by gadgets. I am overwhelmed by the few ones I have. I don't have the infinite free time it would require to 'discover' all of the usability enhancements on my android phone that I supposedly should be able to 'intuit'.

Also I am getting seriously pissed off every time an 'upgrade' requires me to invest time figuring out how to do something I had already sussed out in the previous version. I'm starting to want to be able to version lock things so I don't have to pay a time tax every time someone else decides to improve something I think is fine as it is.

I'm getting old and my lawn was perfect a couple of years ago.
posted by srboisvert at 5:57 AM on September 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


Have We Reached Gadget Fatigue?

Baby don't be like that.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:01 AM on September 10, 2013 [25 favorites]


If gadgets are too much, do like the parents in the cited commercial, DON'T USE THEM.

I'm pretty pro-gadget, and have and use plenty, but I don't think it's this simple. Part of what gadgets do is make life less convenient and more annoying for people not using them. It wasn't annoying not to have a smartphone in 2003, because nobody expected you to be able to get your e-mail all the time, but now people do expect that, and if you want you can say "well, they shouldn't expect that," but guess what, they still do. There used to be payphones, now there are almost none. There will probably be fewer and fewer publicly posted maps in the future. Not using the gadget becomes less and less of an option.
posted by escabeche at 6:06 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not using the gadget becomes less and less of an option.

But you can hold out. My only portable gadget is an mp3 player because I like to listen to music. It doesn't even have a clock display, so I have no idea what the exact time it is until I get around to getting somewhere that has a clock, but how often do you need to know the exact time?

I suppose life will eventually force me to get a cell phone, but so far, so good.
posted by pracowity at 6:14 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


People are going to use the 'gadgets' that meet a need; either a real one or a perceived one. If a gadget doesn't do that, it fails.

Thanks to my iPhone, here is what ISN'T in my life....missed calls...shopping lists crumpled in my pocket...endless drivel in my wallet reminding me of things...a wall calendar with messy scribbles on it...a need for a desktop computer to read my email...for that matter, a real mailbox filled with mostly-trivial notes...games to carry around for the bored kids while I run an errand...a portable radio and a car full of CDs...my car's glove compartment full of maps...getting lost because I don't have directions...the need to be at work for that teleconference that happens to be at the same time as my kid's dentist appointment...going to the library to figure out some stupid piece of information...paper copies of plane tickets....address book...camera...flashlight...newspaper...book...wondering if this restaurant is any good...wondering when the movie times are...wondering what that song I hear is. That is a lot of old-school gadgets that I DON'T need because of my one gadget. I can still ask for directions from a local and end up getting a great restaurant recommendation, but I no longer HAVE to do that unless I want to.

I easily found the graves my grandparents bought 60 years ago but never used and, consequently, got graves for my parents in the very graveyard they wanted to end up in for free while 3000 miles from my home in the Oregon countryside....I could never have done that without my gadget. I sold my parents' house entirely by iPhone (and one snail mail document demonstrating my legal right to do so)! Pocket translator for my trip to Paris! All this and much, much more in the same space taken up by a deck of cards.

I am certain that many people use their gadgets for things that I think are trivial (I mean, Candy Crush, really?), but that is none of my business. Also, it isn't that my life is less complicated because of my handy gadget, it is that my life can be much more complicated that ever imagined in 1980 without me being overwhelmed.

One last thought....those pictures of 20-somethings all staring down at their phones instead of enjoying each other's company....I am reminded of those pictures that news broadcasts always run of loads of fat people walking around when they do a diet story....funny how I never seem to see that when I walk around....with the possible exception of ER waiting rooms.
posted by BearClaw6 at 6:18 AM on September 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


This was one of the least informative articles I have read.

Yeah its a terrible article. Its basically "heres some well worn objections to google glass that were first mentioned by everyone six months ago. Some people check their phone an awful lot! What happened to those bluetooth headsets, not seeing so many of them now where I live. Hey did you see that "I forgot my phone" video? that was good. Here's a car advert that taps into peoples insecurity about spenting too much time online. Elon Musk is cool."

I agree with the Elon Musk bit.
posted by memebake at 6:22 AM on September 10, 2013


I'm more frustrated by the lack of good gadgets and how accepting we've become of terrible gadgets.

For instance, it's been over a decade, and my parents are still unable to operate their digital answering machine. Like all digital answering machines sold today, this one has a simple button that when pressed, plays only "new" messages. Once the messages have been played, they're no longer "new" and subsequent button presses solicit the error "No New Messages". You have to hold the button down to play "old" messages. They never seem to remember the second part, because it's terrible UI design, and as a result I'm constantly being asked how to "get the message back" that they just listened to. What's more, because messages can only be accessed linearly with the "skip" button and audible time stamps are only given after the message has finished playing, it's an absolute chore to delete old messages that are no longer relevant.

I just want a telephone answering machine that indexes calls by Caller-ID and displays a timestamped log of them on a little LCD screen so one can randomly select/play/recall/delete messages with something approximating the UI of an email client. I've scoured the Interwebs, and aisles of Staples, Radioshack, and Best Buy looking for such a gizmo, but I've always come up empty because as far as I can tell, such a consumer device doesn't exist.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:25 AM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel for you Ron. May I add a toaster that fits the bread. This android tablet of mine is the first personal computing device that hasn't resulted in me becoming way more tech savvy than I want to be and that took 30 years.
posted by BenPens at 6:42 AM on September 10, 2013


Can anyone explain the appeal of smartwatches to me?
In principle, having my phone's notifications show up on my watch would be useful. It might be an interesting feature if I was in the market for a new watch. However, it wouldn't be useful enough for me to run out and buy an expensive, big, ugly watch that needs to be charged daily.
posted by sfred at 6:43 AM on September 10, 2013


It's not gadget fatigue. It's stupid gadget fatigue.

I was a sort of tech journalist back in the 90s, covering the wireless industry while they were struggling to sell 3G service. It wasn't working, and I kept writing pieces talking about how 3G was a boondoggle because it was crap and nobody wanted it. And at the time I was right, because nobody had figured out what to do with it, or how to do it right. It really was crap and nobody wanted it.

Eventually (and thankfully I was out of the field by then) Apple figured out how to do it right, and people suddenly were like, oh yeah, I'll buy that, and smartphones were everywhere.

So yeah, physically assaulting someone wearing Google Glass should be decriminalized. Make it like a parking ticket. And I don't see a lot of people yearning for smart watches either. But when someone hits on something people actually want, rather than something they hope they can talk people into wanting, then we'll lurch forward again and things like Google Glass will hopefully become forgotten little dead ends like the Virtual Boy and the Cue Cat.
posted by Naberius at 6:44 AM on September 10, 2013


Can anyone explain the appeal of smartwatches to me?

Up until this year, I hadn't worn a watch in ten years or more. I'd use my phone to check the time, and watches tend to irritate my wrist just a little bit.

Then, I got a Pebble smartwatch, just because. It's not really that "smart", but I'm pretty happy with it. The big advantage for me is that I don't want to have my phone make any noise - no ringtone, no vibration if I can help it. When I get a message, my watch vibrates just enough for me to know I got a message. And I'm not constantly looking at my phone to see if I've gotten messages. So for me it's worth it.
posted by me & my monkey at 6:47 AM on September 10, 2013


re: Google Glass: as Jeff Atwood points out, Google Glass is the equivalent of the Apple Newton of wearable tech. In about 10 years there will be a 5th generation set of smartglasses by someone or other that will take the world by storm. Google are getting a head start in the hope it will be their product, but it may not be.
posted by memebake at 6:57 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've got a Pebble smartwatch, and you know what the main appeal is for me? One of the watchfaces has big numbers, so I can check the time without putting on my reading glasses. It's also very handy for deciding whether to take a call or respond to a particular message. I'm a librarian and we're always after people in the library to take their calls outside, so it helps me not be a hypocrite in that regard.

As far as tech in general goes, yeah, it's good to not depend on it too much. I like taking my smartphone along on bike rides, and even have a little solar panel for my bike so I can keep it charged, but its main function on the ride is to log that ride, not to keep me connected so that family and friends can message me and talk about how bored they are. (And, at the end of the ride, I'll update Facebook and talk about what a great day it was to ride, in the hopes that, you know, some of them get it.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:18 AM on September 10, 2013


Wait, is this where we'll talk about the iPhone 5S, or will that be a later thread today?
posted by gwint at 7:29 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't have a cell phone. I do have a nexus 7. It's... ok. I guess it's a gadget. Not sure if I read more or not. That was my goal when I got it, but... Mostly it's just for small gaming. And checking stuff online now and then. And letting my cat play with the little mouse game I have for her. It's ok. It's not "a tool" or at least, not nearly as much as I'd hoped.

I don't have a watch. I never have except when I was much younger.

That said, I like the TokyoFlash style designs and have thought about getting one of those.

But if I had my druthers, I'd get some sweet sweet hella expensive watch with a tourbillon in it.
posted by symbioid at 7:31 AM on September 10, 2013


I don't mind being loaded with gadgets but they have to be priced to be disposable, which is to say virtually free, because they sure aren't fixable. Smart watch? Will be interested when I can get one for what I would now have to pay ($7.98) for a sub-Timex plastic wristwatch featuring fake-stainless plastic case and fake-stainless plastic bezel with fake-stainless plastic "rivets." (Just an example, I don't actually have one of these because ew.)

Actually actually, 2014 may be my year for a tablet. Walmart is now selling several no-name full android tablets for well under $100. Hey, there's a Nextbook (who?) 7" with Ice Cream Sandwich for $69.00. That's an arrow pointing straight to my doesn't-matter-if-I-brick-it price ($39.95) in 2014. (Or right now, I'll bet, if I wanted to search alibaba.) Oh dear, I bricked my new $39.95 Nextbook trying to install Ubuntu over Android? Unbox the other one I bought at the same time just in case and try again, plus now I have a formerly-Android-based coaster big enough for two drinks.

$39.95 is a pleasantly nostalgic number, it's what I paid for that first Linksys WRT54G I bricked trying to flash in dd-wrt. Second try on second 54G worked fine and is still in service.
posted by jfuller at 8:14 AM on September 10, 2013


The article is wrong. We need more electronics, more wearable electronics, preferably implantable electronics. Electronics that are completely and networked, with continuous web access and GPS. All using ADVAPI.DLL. It's for your own good, citizen.
posted by happyroach at 8:22 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Will be interested when I can get one for what I would now have to pay ($7.98) for a sub-Timex plastic wristwatch featuring fake-stainless plastic case and fake-stainless plastic bezel with fake-stainless plastic "rivets." (Just an example, I don't actually have one of these because ew.)

I have a watch just like this. It's great. However, I have misplaced it, and it is indeed incredibly annoying to have to go into my pocket to get my phone out just to see what time it is. (Sometimes impossible, e.g. when I'm on my bike.) The iPhone is a great device, just like everybody says, and I use it for all kinds of things, but it is not (for me) a good solution to the problem of knowing the time.
posted by escabeche at 8:37 AM on September 10, 2013


What will cause Smartwatch/Gadget Fatigue is poor battery life. Charging it every day will be a nuisance, when other things have to be constantly charged as well: phone, tablet, laptop. It is a constant fight to keep all the batteries fed and happy.

Whichever company figures out energy efficiency and battery technology will win the gadget marathon. Look at where the big tech companies place their bets, in terms of the technology they license and use.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:15 AM on September 10, 2013


digitalprimate: "I kind of agree with the premise that there are too many different gadgets, but the trend over the last 30 years has been convergence. The printer/fax/scanner combo or smartphone/camera are perfect example of there being, in fact, fewer types of gadgets."

Interesting point, and yet... They're still selling mouse pads.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:44 AM on September 10, 2013


I despair a bit at the speed with which gadgets become obsolescent, but I love gadgets nonetheless. To me it is magical to be able to check the news, pay a bill, register an opinion, choose a restaurant, navigate a route, read or listen to a book or magazine, and learn Italian -- just to name a few things I do routinely with my Ipad and Iphone. I think it is amazing that I can track my steps walked, my weight, my body fat, my sleep, and my diet just by using a Fitbit wrist band, a connected scale, and a web connected device.

I can't wait to see what lies ahead. The world of electronics reminds me of becoming a more and more well trained wizard.

Having said that, I can't disagree that I don't want to ever be enslaved to responding to every communication, or one of those infuriatingly rude people who bellow on their phones or stare at a screen instead of the people they are with, or someone who endangers everyone by texting while driving. But that's people's behavior, not the gadgets.
posted by bearwife at 9:59 AM on September 10, 2013


I just want a telephone answering machine that indexes calls by Caller-ID and displays a timestamped log of them on a little LCD screen so one can randomly select/play/recall/delete messages with something approximating the UI of an email client. I've scoured the Interwebs, and aisles of Staples, Radioshack, and Best Buy looking for such a gizmo, but I've always come up empty because as far as I can tell, such a consumer device doesn't exist.

I think it's a case of all the manufacturers following the logic "why would we make a gadget which will sell 100 units when for the same markup, we can make a gadget that will sell 10000 units?"
Ie, the features you seek are expensive, yet don't grant any added functions to the gadget. Buyers are primarily interested in function+price, so a device that does exactly the same thing except it costs a lot more, has an uphill battle just to get anyone to look at it.

The microprocessor giveth, and the microprocessor taketh away - so powerful that not only does it remove the need for an analog tape recorder with all those moving parts, but its powerfulness also allows for a single button to perform multiple functions via different contexts and press length. Buttons are expensive and tricky. Overlaying all the functions into fewer multi-use buttons means a lot of manufacturing headache is saved, a lot of costs cut, with no loss in functionality in the device, it just becomes an asshole to use. But that generally isn't factored by people in the store because they're looking at what it does, what it costs, and (maybe) how reliable it is.
posted by anonymisc at 10:19 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]




Thanks to my iPhone, here is what ISN'T in my life...

What are you selling? I mean apart from used ellipses.

All this and much, much more in the same space taken up by a deck of cards.

A what of what?
 
posted by Herodios at 11:22 AM on September 10, 2013


I don't know if my definition of 'gadget' is universal or even common, but I tend to think of a gadget as being a limited purpose technology, whether because of form factor, intractable firmware, licensing agreement, or some combination of above. A gadget is a thing that you buy to do a specific task or subset of tasks, which cannot easily be modified to do something it's not specifically designed for.

And I don't think people are getting tired of them at all, as much as I wish they would. Just in my personal experience, I've noticed that the people who buy the most gadgets are those who understand the least about technology. They don't really have the technical skills to modify or repair their devices, or even to understand a device's capabilities, so they end up buying one gadget after another to perform each individual task, and then simply replace things after something has gone wrong. I know families who struggle to pay for health insurance and food who have more iPhones than family members, and who have multiple tablets and e-readers for overlapping tasks because they buy things based on advertising, rather than on actually looking at technical specifications and evaluating how well something will fit their particular needs.

And I suspect that demographic is what's largely driving the gadget market at this point; and unless and until we start really addressing the lack of technical literacy among technology users, I don't suspect we're going to see a significant drop in gadget adoption.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2013


Transistor radios are everywhere, and portable televisions are poised to follow. Techies are eying the 8-track tape cartridge. And we now carry our technology in our hands. Have we finally reached gadget overload? From CIO, September 5, 1960.
posted by TrialByMedia at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've still got an antique LG flip phone that I only use for the very occasional phone call. It doesn't have a camera, MP3, GPS or WiFi. I don't Tweet, Facebook or text. It costs me $10.00 per month and 10 cents per minute.
Perfectly adequate for a cheap old bastard like me.
I'd probably enjoy many of the features of a new smartphone but I really prefer not being hosed by the Canadian cell providers' oligopoly.
posted by islander at 12:37 PM on September 10, 2013


To me, the watch / glass stuff is about experimenting with new UIs for existing functionality/devices. For example, walking navigation --- holding out my phone in front of me as I walk is less convenient than being able to look at my wrist, or having an overlay in my glasses.

Its not clear yet how good the benefit will be because these devices are still in their infancy. The Newton comparison is good, look at how long it took to get that sort of thing right.

Since I'm in the tech industry and interested in where this is going, I'll probably end up with Glass or a watch or both. But I think it will be another couple revisions before they're really useful to mainstream consumers. And what comes from that may or may not resemble them in their current form. But history shows that judging a tech by its earliest iterations is tough (think about what people thought PCs would be used for in 1980 versus 2000, or smartphones, or w/e).

As for the information overload --- most of that is up to you. I sympathize with those who are forced to be hyper-available for work. Thats unavoidable for some people and is certainly a downside to some of this tech, that employers now have an ability to require something that was very difficult 50 years ago. Even though I work for a tech company, I am not required to answer emails in the middle of the night or whatever, so for me thats not an issue, but not everyone has such freedom.

Outside of that, though, its all social construct and who you choose to be friends / etc with, and you have a lot of choice over that.
posted by wildcrdj at 12:46 PM on September 10, 2013


And I'm not constantly looking at my phone to see if I've gotten messages. So for me it's worth it.

It sounds like the smart watch is an enabler of smartphone addiction.

But, I think I'd like the smartwatch to take off, only because I want to see the smart pocket watch, smart knuckle, and smart ring come out too.
posted by FJT at 1:11 PM on September 10, 2013


But, I think I'd like the smartwatch to take off, only because I want to see the smart pocket watch, smart knuckle, and smart ring come out too.

And a smart lantern to charge the smart ring.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:29 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, is this where we'll talk about the iPhone 5S, or will that be a later thread today?

They've upped the spec, and it's a big upping of the spec, but other than that what's there to talk about? Which loops back round to the OP, really.
posted by Artw at 2:06 PM on September 10, 2013


Apparently it's the first smart phone with a 64 bit processor.

This gadget talk seems apt, since I'm about to purchase my first smart phone.
posted by FJT at 2:22 PM on September 10, 2013


Say what you will about all the doodads, I'm just glad they're putting a lane on the new Bay Bridge for "eco-friendly bicyclists." I can't tell you how sick I am of those eco-unfriendly bicyclists, you know, the ones who stand bent-over on a bicycle made of endangered animals and fart prodigiously instead of pedaling.
posted by Mooseli at 2:32 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I may have not reached gadget overload but definitely charger overload. Every single drawer in the house is stuffed with a tangle of cables and power bricks for gadgets that we may or may not still own.

I refuse to buy any more battery operated tech devices that don't charge via micro USB. I've got a plethora of both wall warts and USB cables with that end and USB ports built into both the dash of my car and wall sockets in my house. Charging is easy and without fuss.
posted by Mitheral at 3:10 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


iPhone 5s more like iPhone 5Zzz

iOS 7 is nice, though.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:35 PM on September 10, 2013


I can carry King of Dragon Pass around on a sliver of glass and metal not much bigger than a credit card.

This is the radiant future I dreamed of on those endless 12-year-old afternoons.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:45 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Techies are eying Google Glass.

I "see" what you did there.
posted by John Cohen at 5:12 PM on September 10, 2013


It read to me like this author has reached the point in their life where they can't be bothered learning about new gadgets any more, and are interpreting this as an objective change in the usefulness of the gadgets rather than a subjective change within themselves. I think this happens a lot to techie types as they age, raise families, etc. -- "interested in the latest technology" becomes so fundamental to their identity that it doesn't even occur to them that it might no longer be true, that they might just be more interested in other stuff now.
posted by No-sword at 7:12 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


iPhone 5s more like iPhone 5Zzz

Camera improvements are pretty cool. For the software I am writing, the OpenGL performance improvements are a huge jump. Not too thrilled with a likely NSA-rooted phone with a fingerprint scanner, though that will be coming for everyone else sometime next year, probably.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 PM on September 10, 2013


The only people who write articles like this are people who lack imagination. There will always be new gadgets.

Just look at all the VR stuff in the pipeline, for example -- the Oculus Rift, Sony's rumored head-mounted display, the various motion tracking devices and so on. We're about to have a revolution in VR -- if not this generation than the next.

Plus you've got 3d printers, self-driving cars, augmented reality, 'indie' manufacturing and design.

We're in a golden age of gadgetry right now, and I don't see any end in sight.
posted by empath at 3:17 AM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Camera improvements are pretty cool. For the software I am writing, the OpenGL performance improvements are a huge jump.

Yeah, the camera improvements are nice and I'm sure the extra speed is nice, I'm just not burning to upgrade, which is good, considering I still have a year to go.

Not too thrilled with a likely NSA-rooted phone with a fingerprint scanner, though that will be coming for everyone else sometime next year, probably.

Speaking of which, I was waiting for this latest gem from the NSA to pop up on the blue. This seems like as good a spot as any.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:47 AM on September 11, 2013


Wall Street seems to have reached gadget fatigue too.
posted by octothorpe at 8:12 AM on September 11, 2013


IT's an interesting take. Certianly Apple is going to have to be careful not to add "features" going forward. Like MS Office was several versions ago the iPhone will be essentially feature complete at some point (maybe now) and any new "features" will just be cruft that gets in people's way.
posted by Mitheral at 8:18 AM on September 11, 2013


Wired, sounding a little desperate.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


> the iPhone will be essentially feature complete at some point (maybe now) and any new
> "features" will just be cruft that gets in people's way.

When they add the phaser I will have one in a heartbeat. Don't care how deep in the UI it's buried. I will write my own app for it--one huge red button, always on screen.
posted by jfuller at 4:58 PM on September 11, 2013


Why Apple's 64-bit iPhone chip is a bigger deal than you think
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on September 12, 2013


The Most Forward Thinking Apple Yet: What the 64-bit capable iOS 7 and the M7 chip really mean

I don't believe Apple added 64-bit support to iOS 7 and all their apps just to prepare for an eventual transition to 4GB+ memory capacities in future iPhones. I think this was to do with something more impending. Do we know any product category that Apple would be interested in, that would require the use of both iOS and an A-series chip that is 64-bit capable in order to address 4GB+ memory?

Apple TV (the one that is yet to come, not the one that exists).

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:09 PM on September 13, 2013


iOS 7 has game controller support, which could suggest some interesting possibilities in that direction.
posted by Artw at 3:16 PM on September 13, 2013


I agree that 64 bit is forward thinking for apple, but it's still not a reason to buy this particular phone. I also don't think it adds very much, if anything to the price of the phone, so it's kind of a non-issue.
posted by empath at 1:46 AM on September 14, 2013


The Phones of Dr. Moreau - New Yorker Cartoon by Alex Gregory.
posted by cenoxo at 4:33 AM on September 14, 2013


Jumping to 64 bits is one of those boring but necessary steps that every OS provider has to deal with. My company had spend a whole release cycle on it four years ago.
posted by octothorpe at 7:19 AM on September 14, 2013


Happy, now sad.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:52 AM on September 14, 2013


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