By Jeff Girod
Practically everywhere from your local Radio Shack to Silicon Valley has just announced new, more expensive versions of products you already own—and they’re all scheduled to premiere during the next few months.
Both PlayStation and Xbox will release new gaming systems in November. Apple is planning to announce two new iPhones on Sept. 10, the iPhone 5S that is the successor to the iPhone 5 and a long-rumored “budget iPhone.”
And not to be outdone, Samsung just invented something called “Galaxy Gear,” which includes a new phone, tablet and smartwatch. (What, no utility belt?) Just beware of buying all three, Inspector Gadget, because nothing says “dumb guy” like a smartwatch.
Just how bad are you at misplacing your computer that you have to strap one to your wrist? Digital watches weren’t cool in 1978. They’re not any cooler now. Plus texting and driving is awkward enough without attempting to balance a miniature keyboard on your wrist.
All this new technology isn’t cheap. A new PlayStation 4 will set gamers back $399. An Xbox One will cost even more, at $499. For that kind of money, I could get two actual ninjas to fight in my living room or hire someone to dress up like Pac-Man and chase me around.
But gamers will buy the new Xbox or PlayStation because both have exciting new features such as “voice control” and “3-D face scan” and something called a “newly improved Kinect camera.” I’m not even sure what that means, but I’m already depressed that some place, somewhere my Kinect camera is old and unimproved.
One of the most wonderfully frustrating things about technology is that it never stops advancing. The updates are ever changing and always constant—like Meg Ryan’s face.
Outdated electronics are like an ex-lover. You can’t wait to get rid of them and you hope you never see one again. They’re gross and bulky, and they suck tons of money and energy. The colors clash with everything and you wonder if you ever had anything in common.
At least with old TVs and computers, they offer a recycling center. Unfortunately, there’s not a similar service for exes.
So while you’re at Best Buy dropping 2-large on the latest and greatest 3-D flat screen, just remember it will soon be replaced by something newer and shinier. Just whatever you do, DON’T buy the warranty. It will only make the inevitable breakup more painful.
Scientists are already at Sony headquarters designing the next best thing in scratch ‘n’ sniff projection holograms. And when the scratch ‘n sniff TVs finally get here, you better believe I’ll be in line to buy two. (I want one to hang across from my automated toilet with the heated seat.)
And I’ll justify the expense by convincing myself it’s a “need,” not a “want.” Because we can’t imagine our lives without iPads or smartphones. Sometimes I like to check the weather on my smartphone while I’m outside. Why? Because I’m an idiot with too many apps on my phone. Plus apparently I’d rather look down at a tiny smudged phone screen than up at the sky.
Once you buy one iPhone, you’re hooked. It’s not just a smartphone. It’s a religion. You don’t have to go church on Sundays. But you do have to go the Apple Store once in a while, visit the “Genius Bar” and get patronized by a know-it-all 19-year-old in flat-front khakis.
The rumor for weeks has been that the new iPhone 5S has a sensor on its start button that allows users to sign in with just the touch of a fingerprint. Before that, you had to tap the screen four times to key in a security code.
Four times! I have to lay down just thinking about it.
Technology is all about making our lives better. Think about the torturous, nightmarish existence you have now. Now imagine how much more convenient everything would be if you just had a Kinect Camera, a smartwatch and an iPhone 5S.
It’s enough to bring a crooked, half-smile to even Meg Ryan’s swollen face.