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Apple's new vanity project

Rohan JoshiAt an event earlier this week, Apple unveiled a slew of new products, including two new iPhones, a watch, and the remains of U2’s career. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus continue Apple’s commitment to letting you choose the relative size of your overcompensation, but the breakthrough product was the Apple Watch, which is a game changer because it doesn’t begin with ‘i’. Also, all Apple products are always game changers. When an Apple employee farts somewhere, it immediately changes the farting game to another game (usual-ly fencing.)

The smartwatch is personal technology’s new vanity project, its development driven by Silicon Valley’s key guiding principle — no object you buy does enough pointless stuff, and for an annual fee of $299 ($7,000 unlocked) you can have another version of it that will do more pointless stuff, and at a better screen resolution. First, they came for my computer, and I said nothing. Then, they came for my phone, and I said something, but the call dropped so nobody heard. And now, they’re coming for everything else.

I’m usually the idiot that buys every new thing that Apple sells me. For five years now, their products have blasted past through my fence of good judgment with ease. They’ve made money vanish from my wallet with the finesse of a George Clooney franchise. But this time, my good judgment has a secret weapon — I’ve always needed a phone, but I’m not a watch-wearer. I don’t even own one.

Apple watch
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus continue Apple’s commitment to letting you choose the relative size of your overcompensation, but the breakthrough product was the Apple Watch, which is a game changer because it doesn’t begin with ‘i’. Pic/AFP

I’ve owned three watches in my life, of which two were gifts. The first was glorious. It was made by Nintendo, and its liquid crystal display allowed for a rudimentary version of Mario Brothers. Its horological properties left something to be desired though; it had the accuracy of a prison-wall calendar.

My second watch was my favourite thing on Earth; it was a Casio G-Shock. It had a dial the size of my face during an allergic reaction, and told the time spectacularly. Not that I ever cared. I was more excited by its stopwatch, barometric pressure readout and other useless information. It was also purchased off the single greatest sales-pitch I have ever received in my life. My father and I asked the lady at the counter if it was as tough as everybody said it was. Sipping her tea, she casually took it out of its case and flung it violently across the room, where it smacked into a wall. She then picked it up and handed it to me without saying a word. The watch was unharmed. Your move, Don Draper. Your move.

My third watch was a more formal affair that paired well with clothes with buttons on them. But, by this time, I had a phone that told the time, so I never once looked at the poor watch. One day, I left it in a hotel and took a full two weeks to realise I’d forgotten it. And since then, for the last 12 years, my entire arm has been the same colour and hair-density.

Which brings me to the Apple Watch; I’m not sure I’m ready to wear one of those things again Apple, not even for you. Sure, you can send your heartbeat to someone else, and one day you’re going to refine that technology to the point where my Doctor Robot will monitor my heartbeat in real- time, but right now, it sounds a bit like a toy for the Instagram generation. So, I’m not going to buy your watch just yet. I think I’ll wait at least another eight months before this year’s fence collapse.

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