This weekend I tried to help my grandmother with her new cell phone. She purchased a phone, bluetooth headset, and another bluetooth device that lets you talk in your car handsfree and broadcasts the callers voice over an FM channel that you can tune to with your radio. I got the handsfree device setup and showed her how to use it, but my final recommendation was to take it back to the store. While it was great in theory, in actually use I know it was far more complicated to be useful to me–even though I knew how to work it.
It is easy to get enamored with how something is supposed to make your life simpler to the point that you overlook how it makes things more complicated.
Bill Bennett says
As Sigmund Freud COULD have said:
Sometimes a phone is just a phone.
For me cellphones because ridiculously overcomplicated when they came with compulsory built-in cameras.
Mark Shead says
@Bill – My cell phone does not have a camera. :) I think companies put too much effort into building great hardware and not enough on making the software easy to use. The two exceptions I’ve seen are Blackberries and iPhones. Those seem to be well designed and the way you use them more or less makes sense.
I have to say I totally disagree with you. I have a simular blue tooth device and I love it. It is simple to use and I live in CA where you are required by law to use a blue tooth device while driving your car. To me, it is so much better than to have the Star Trek looking device attached to your head.
Mark Shead says
@Diana – If it works well for you I’m very happy for you. For me the difficulty of trying to connect the phone to the device and then the device to the radio would have kept me from using it. If those thing happen automatically then it would probably work well. Just out of curiosity if you are listening to your stereo and a call comes in do you just switch to the particular station to hear the caller?
I have the BlackJack II & love the fact that it’s an organizer & phone in one. I no longer need to carry more than one device, I just pick up my phone and go. Sure, there are items on the phone I don’t use, but until they make a phone that is customizable (like a Dell computer), I’ll stick with it.
I have a friend with the FM connection to her phone & really don’t like it at all. Any time she needs to answer the phone, everyone can hear the entire conversation.
Nicholas Powiull says
Things were designed for this exact purpose by the people in power who want to mold us into consumers that buy buy buy. For more information, I encourage you to watch this video: “The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard” ( http://www.storyofstuff.com/ )