We’ve all experienced it. It happens to everyone from time to time. Those fractions of a second when our cerebral networks become overloaded by fear. I’m talking, of course, about dropping your iDevice. I mean it, too. Apple has succeeded like no other brand in fostering actual love for their products. Whether the end result be catastrophic screen damage to your iPad or just a minor chip in the beautifully bezelled edge of your iPhone 5, it all hurts.
It’s the effort we put in. The simple quantifiable problem of humans investing time into something they love only to feel for the briefest moment that it might be all gone. Those cinematic John Woo style milliseconds, ticking away as we reach down, hurling ourselves into harms way, trying to beat gravity and physics itself to catch our loved one before it meets its uncertain fate.
There used to be a “thing” called Walkman. A novel yet practical solution to a problem people didn’t know they had; how to listen to your favorite music on the go. Yes, I know there were gadgets before Walkman, but none had the mass appeal that Sony’s plastic play-friend had. If you dropped or broke it, you always had the option of opening it up and trying to sort it out yourself.
Fast forward, and the world has changed somewhat. Our devices have become infinitely more personal. They can be customised, honed and interacted with until you’ve evolved the simple machine you unwrapped in the post into something better, something you. How dare something “accidental” take that away. Fingers that are numb from the cold and struggle to engage your house keys in the winter now become instruments of homicide when borne the responsibility of dropping a carefully crafted iPod.
The future is bleak. It contains more fragile, more dynamic mirrors of ourselves. When we feast on the beautifully rendered concept images of Apples future creations—circulated by fans across the earth—I begin to feel somewhat scared of losing my youthful steady hand, and fear the sight of my iPhone lying in a graphite pool of sadness across my driveway.
So, what’s the answer? A never ending array of quirky third-party cases and screen protectors that, no matter how beautiful or “smart” they might be, will always degrade the original design. Maybe there needs to be a re-think at the source requiring all of our beautiful new iDevices to have “life-proof” glass or “travel-friendly” brushed aluminium casings, impossible as it is to avoid the fact that this just makes things…heavier.
Or do we actually want a delicate digital companion? A machine that we can care about and nurture. Think about it—we put ourselves into these devices, we spend time considering how best to use the space our extra line of apps gives us! We carefully choose our wallpapers because we somehow feel it will better reflect our charisma! So, in essence it’s increasingly important for Apple to provide us with with ever more flimsy and fragile babies to watch over.
It’s marketing 2.0, and it’s awesome!
Shattered iPad/iPhone image via iFixYouri.