Thursday, December 25, 2008

Non-tech for the Tech

There is a rumor* doing the rounds that while the US space team spent millions to develop a pen that would work in space, the Russians chose to use a pencil! Though there is a space pen available now from Fisher, the story hints at the use of common sense instead of bravado. Engineers and technology folks spend too much time on an exciting new feature but sometimes fail to use a simple solution. After all, engineers should be "problem solvers".

So, I was surprised when I saw a new product from Logitech ** that had an "innovative" new feature. So innovative that there is a tutorial on how to use it. It is called a "Clip-and-go Dock". Essentially, it attaches your mouse securely to your laptop. This can be an immensely useful mechanism considering that the average office person going between meetings has to carry a laptop, the laptop power charger, a notebook and his mouse. So, with this, you carry one item less. This shows how a company analysed the way its product was being used and then added a feature helpful to the focus group. Instead of adding colors to its products or adding another laser tracker for "improved accuracy", they chose a non-tech way to improve their tech.

Similarly, I propose to the BT headset manufcaturers that they add a "pen clip" to their products so it can be safely secured to shirts/ coats. Most people who dont like to wear their "blinking blue" headsets on their ears all day long have a problem storing it on-person and this simple non-tech way will go a long way in helping this group.

any other suggestions in a similar vein?


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