I was on Facebook chat to a friend recently, bemoaning the general attitude of our kids (9 & 13) and the subsequent removal of all tech from their rooms bar the CD/FM radio. Friend and I went for a trip down memory lane about growing up in the 80s & 90s, and how great CDs were. I started thinking about the event of buying a CD. You’d catch a bit of a song on the radio, or everyone else would be singing or rapping bits of it at school all week. You’d save up your pocket money, get a lift or a bus into town and go and get it. THEN having to wait until you got home to listen to it if you weren’t fortunate enough to have a CD walkman! Now kids can just stream the video or track online (which is awesome by the way! This is definitely not an anti-tech rant). Then this idea, this phrase came to be ‘The problem with kids today is that they’ve never had to wait 28 days for delivery’!
Mail order ‘gifts’ were a defining part of my childhood; you’d save the tokens from the cereal packet; include the delivery fee taped to a piece of cardboard, put it in the postbox and then you had to ‘allow 28 days for delivery’. Waiting. Patience. It’s a trait being eroded lost in the current generation who can access all their entertainment instantly. Almost everything I had had waiting involved. Not just mail order but C64 games loading from tape, dial-up internet, the next episode or even waiting through the ads, getting photos developed, films coming out on tape about a year after the cinema or even getting a hard copy e-mail aka, a letter. The excitement and anticipation was part of experience and it’s being denied to them. One of the best things I ever got through the post was from a packet of Rice Krispies. It was a pull-back-let-go VW Beetle made out of wax crayon. Originally they were slow and the crayons a bit naff (I never liked colouring, the lines oppressed me). Once we realised they came off though they were amazing! The mechanism unencumbered by the weight of it’s crayon topper was ludicrously fast, flipped over, ran on its side and danced around like a dervish! We had them for years and they gave us hours of fun racing, battling and jumping them.
I wanted to show my friend these things so I did what we all do, instead of taking the time type out the description like I have here I took the easy route and Googled it. Typing in ‘crayon cars pull back let go’ into image search gave me a page full of ‘it’s close but it’s not right’ results. Scrolling down the page an image caught my eye. An orange and silver simple little utilitarian concept car. Well that’s rather cool, I need to know what that is…
*open image in new tab* What it revealed was a Time.com article about a prospective Apple electric car. Ok I like electric cars and Apple are an interesting beast to watch, you have my attention. Their video says that in 2015 was ‘snapping up new talent with experience of the automotive industry’ according to the Financial Times as well as pointing out the huge undertaking Tesla has had to put cars on the road. Personally I don’t think Apple will come out with their own car straight away. They could well embed their ‘CarOS’ in with premium models of other manufacturers like other streaming services are already doing. It would allow them to dip a toe in the market and start collecting that all important data about usage to further inform them about a new sector.
They’ve done this before with the Motorola Rokr phone back in 2005. Enabling transfer of media from iTunes and playback of purchases from the iTunes Store. They then went on to launch the iPhone in 2007 and every new product they have released since is a variant of that. iPod touch? iPhone with no phone. iPad? Big iPhone with no phone, but mobile data. iPad Mini? Not so big iPad. Apple TV? iPhone with only the iTunes Store on it, (as well as some other stuff you dont use, apart from Netflix and YouTube). Apple Watch? 2nd screen for your iPhone. I have owned or used all of these bar the watch, because it’s stupidly expensive and ugly and the battery sucks (go Pebble! – aka FitBit IP cache). Apple may well be looking at the automotive market and may even eventually develop a car to rival a Tesla. I’m betting it’ll take more than 3 tokens and waiting 28 days for delivery though. I guess I’m as susceptible to impatience and distraction as a 13 year old too.
For those interested enough I have found a link to the Super Crayon Cars.