Nettime mailing list archives

Re: <nettime> some technology that I could use in my life
Steve Cisler on Sun, 15 Dec 2002 22:21:36 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: <nettime> some technology that I could use in my life

  Bill Spornitz wrote about  some devices or interfaces he'd like.

Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future has said (in so many words),
"If you want to see the future, look under the Christmas tree."  
Companies will use new technology to make low-cost devices aimed at
children. Then, other versions may enter the mainstream market for adults.

With the downturn in the economy and the upswing of online sales, the main
places that Americans gather, shopping malls, are having a hard time.  
Here in Silicon Valley one of the largest (about 400 meters from one end
to the other) has half the occupants it usually has. A whole floor is
empty, and quite a few stores on the other are going out of business.  
However, the toys stores are doing well.

I went in a couple of them to see what sort of electronic toys are
available.  There are some toys that do not rely on electricity, but I
would think they are in the minority. Anyway, The packages that do have
batteries also have a way for the buyer (kid or parent) to try it out.  
here are a few items I found.

There is a general theme of packaging adult products as candy to help
build a new market. When I was about 8 or 9, it was cool to have chocolate
cigarettes, gum packed as snuff. Now it's electronics -bubble gum
dispenser shaped like a cell phone. Wear it on your belt -candy in a pager
with belt clip. -$5.00 pack of a pager and cell phone. "Real Internet
Sounds" was the attraction. Push a button to get a beep, gurgle, dialup
modem sound. -915 MHz radio-controlled rat (package shows a woman
frightened by device at her feet while a boy with the transmitter hides
around the corner) -915 MHz radio-controlled whoopee cushion. I don't know
how confined to one culture the whoopee cushion is (I think it's a British
invention), so I'll explain. It's flexible rubber bladder that you inflate
and place under a pillow or cushion in a chair. Someone sits down causing
a fart sound and everyone laughs at the victim. It is a staple of joke
shops.  This new one is electronic and has time delay settings and
different sounds. You can find several models online.

-virtual reality Spiderman 3D game.  Less than $50 you get a helmet with
stereo eyepieces, and a hand control. Game is projected (somehow)  in the
helmet which is about the size of a cantaloupe (up to 10 years old?).

-parrot that echos your words. The store model did not work, so I could
not test it for its ability to filter, but with a time delay on the echo,
that could be a lot of fun.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net