5 Things I Wish Apple Would Design

Vending MachineApple’s design accomplishments are legendary.  Their design prowess in most ways sets the benchmark.  Their feats and are often credited with inventing new categories of products we never knew we needed when I think they actually are simply the best at perfecting ideas.  With that said what if that prowess extended far beyond the technology stratosphere and reached many of the simpleton things we encounter on a daily basis.  Here’s my list of 5 things I wish they did just that.

  1. Vending Machines.  Vending Machines universally suck.  They constantly rip you off.  They’re giant, orca giant, and noisy.  Can you say, “Siri, can I have a Milky Way please?”
  2. ATMs.  Also universally suck.  “Siri, give me a Benjamin please.”  “Certainly, how would you like that?”  “Three 20s, two tens, two fives, and the rest in ones will do.”  Notice I never had to select my language preference in this exchange and yes I’m aware of Apple Pay but the vending machine I frequent isn’t and is perfectly content stealing my cash.
  3. Microwaves.  Now these don’t normally suck but how cool would it be to pop in your tv dinner, shut the door and it started automatically because it read some NFC tag or bar code that in turn translated to the proper wattage and heating time.  It will even pause to tell you in Siri’s wonderful voice it’s time to remove the wrapper over the refried beans and stir them.  Oh and the door makes virtually no noise to open or close.  Why are microwave doors always so loud anyway?  Loud buzzers, forget about it, just Siri’s delish voice.  Step out of the room when the timer ends no problem, a gentle notification to your iPhone or Apple Watch will let you know your dinner is ready.  It would also alert you when it detected metal and not operate until it is removed.
  4. Automatic faucets.  You know the kind in public bathrooms.  Seriously why do these never work when I put my hands under them and why do they stop when I haven’t removed my hands?!  The urinals usually work as do paper towel dispensers and air dryers why not faucets?
  5. A Kid’s Tablet.  Because my 5 year old has access to a LeapPad, a Kindle Fire, a Nintendo DS, and a Xbox Kinect but almost always prefers my iPhone 6 I believe because it offers the most hassle free experience for him.  This may not qualify to be on this list because it’s still a tech product nevertheless I just want to see what Apple would do with a product designed from the ground up exclusively for kids.
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GADGET REVIEW: NIKE+ FUELBAND

Rating:  TekYa

Price:  $149.95 Apple Store

Goodieness:  Comfortable design.  When those LEDs come to life you really get that cool factor.  Beautiful and useful accompanying app.  Displays time.

Crummieness:  Not a true pedometer.  No GPS.  Tied to Nike’s formula for Fuel Score which there’s just no benchmark for.   App only available for iOS.

Review

Though on the market for over a year now (Feb. 2012) it’s still Nike’s forerunner piece of tech gear for tracking activity with no replacement as yet announced.  Recently there have been a slew of competing products from the likes of Fitbit and Jawbone to hit the market so I thought it prudent to go ahead and post a review of my current choice of activity tracker.

Design

The device comfortably snaps to your wrist and comes in three flavors; smoke, ice, and black.  Personally I prefer black for two reasons.  First black hides natural build up of dirt and grime.  Second is the wow factor.  The other colors are somewhat translucent so you can see some of the electronics inside them so when the LEDs light up it’s not much of a surprise.  When those LEDs come to life on the black it really does turn heads and has proven to be quite the conversation starter on several occasions.  The band itself is fairly nondescript and aside from a slide-fit metal clasp there’s only an oval shaped button visible.  The magic happens when you press the button and a bank of LEDs lights up to display steps, calories burned, NikeFuel score (I’ll cover that later), and current time.  Built inside the band is a forward thinking battery design, accelerometer, and Bluetooth.  Unsnapping the clasp gives access to the power and syncing port which utilizes a unique charging station included in the box.

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