ByÂ Vasim Shaikh:
We think we are a lucky generation, because we have access to modern technology? Well, I would beg to differ. “I really need it”, “All my friends have it”, “Everybody is talking about it”, I can write a bible on this ‘marketing psychology’. Even an ascetic sage will be tempted to buy these amazing goodies, and subsequently he will spend years contemplating why he bought the gadget that he used for a mere 24 hour period. Grab your mobile, throw it in the dustbin and see if you commit suicide the next day, and then you may understand my dilemma. If you spend a month contemplating which phone to buy instead of which book to read or subject to study, then there is probably something wrong with you.
Having spoken on this topic like a religious saint, let me just stop every single nerve in my body from purchasing that new tablet I saw yesterday and talk about the necessity of these products being released every day; which are significantly more in number than the entire human population on earth.
1. Curved Smart Phones
While this sounds unappealing to a flat pocket that your typical jeans has, one wonders how could the creators even think that an unaesthetic design like this would work. The probability of a curved phone breaking is even higher than the normal phones, and the discomfort which comes along with it, even worse. No doubt, these strange phones released by Samsung and LG are an unnecessary burden to a person’s pocket, not to mention a liability.
2. Apple iWatch
Although this looks like a good idea, it is difficult for it to outperform a general one. The typical watch we buy works for months without giving problems. Imagine, also having to charge your watch every day along with other devices. Also, it is not so difficult for a person to actually pull out his iPhone and check whatever he is looking for, it just takes a couple of seconds more. How much cost and trouble can you assign to two seconds of your day?
3. Samsung Android Camera
Priced at an exorbitant price of above 20000 INR, I just wonder if the camera lives up to its expectations. Moreover, Android OS was made for a feature oriented gadget, and just adding the beauty of android to a camera cannot help much. It can never contend with an actual photo application like Photoshop or an advanced Point and Shoot Camera. If you are thinking of buying it, spend 40% of the money on a Photoshop workshop and the rest on a decent camera, and you will earn 30% money for two times better photographs.
4. Anti-Gravity Refill Pen
No wonder this pen is a miraculous wonder, but when you wonder how much amount of cash has to be spent for a unit, you will start thinking of buying 1000 pencils instead and using them till eternity. While this invention is a landmark development, it really hasn’t helped much.
You might have seen this device when you went for a dinner: a person talking on a gigantic phone that he can barely hold in his hand. The mental image of the person saying “hello” into such a big device makes you giggle. While phones were primarily invented for communicating your details to someone, it is difficult to argue if such a big device will actually benefit a person. I think in future, everyone will have to carry a new purse just for his phone.
6. Dettol No Touch Hand Wash System
This is another strange product from Dettol. Dettol claims that it can clean almost any kind of germs seen today. This product makes one wonder if there is some supernatural formula that exists in the liquid. If the liquid is extremely effective, how can a human touch transfer bacteria that are absolutely impossible to be destroyed by the same liquid that they claim destroys everything. Pure hysteria. While I say this is a good effort, at the given price, I would not buy it.
7. Detachable Laptops
No wonder this sounds cool, but if you are a laptop addict like me, you will realize that the worst part of it is when the battery is low. While this is a good enhancement, the wireless connectivity will reduce the life ever further. Moreover, we really don’t prefer using our laptops in place of an home theatre system.
8. Digital Photo Displays
You will see this gadget, placed in a showcase, in the home of a family which has just returned from a trip from a popular destination. No wonder these displays are extremely cool, but go out for buying one and you will find out that you can buy a smartphone at the same price. Next time, call your uncle, and describe him these scenes and show some pictures from your mobile and he will be much more delighted. This is a wastage of electricity (or batteries), but then again, it has class!
9. Electric Toothbrush
While mornings are meant to be more active, use this device and you will be sleeping even while brushing your teeth. For lazy chaps like me, who have their hand movements only while brushing as an exercise routine, this is a nightmare. It is a perfect example of how addicted we can get to luxury and technology.
10. Laser Scissors
Another strange gadget is the laser scissors, which can be used while cutting. Remember lasers are harmful and also consume a lot of battery power. Also, with a little movement of your hand, it is possible to deflect this straight line. No doubt you will get a straight line, but not an unidirectional one.
The next time you go out for buying something, answer the following questions to yourself:
Ask yourself at least three times if you really need the product.
Do I have something that already provides this functionality?
What are the new problems that will come up with this product?
In long term, will the cost justify the functionality of the product or not?
Perhaps you will realize you don’t really need all the gadgets present in the world and understand that in today’s world, the demand is less than the supply.
Note: To understand the pure hysteria of marketing strategies, you can also read “The art of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar.