Hot or not?

Hot or not? An article in the NYT today about the toy-fication of a gadget, a “pen-top computer,” that didn’t catch on in the adult market, has me wondering something: How could such a goofy product catch on among reputed tech-savvy 8-14 year olds who’ve had computers and digital cameras and cell-phones since birth – and iPods half their lives. Shouldn’t they recognize a dead-end technology when they see it? Or, are they recognizing something about this technology that I’m missing?

Ask someone in that age group, “Would you rather have a pen-top computer or a $100 iTunes gift card” and see what technology wins. (Granted, they’d rather have something wrapped up in a box under a tree.)

I would ask my in-house focus group of that demographic. Unfortunately, while I wasn’t looking, they grew out of the demographic. (No, I didn’t shoot them.)

P.S. This is the kind of whining I’m going to quit doing in 2006.

4 thoughts on “Hot or not?

  1. Rex this is what I told you about in our phone conversation last week. Wired did a story on it the their latest issue.

  2. Yeah, we better get some whining in now about this. Because as a potential toy-buyer this holiday season, I took one look at that and thought, “”What a scam!!” Then when I read it was affiliated with Leapfrog, I thought, no way. My kid’s Leappad [which I never agreed with in principle — hey, we read the books ourselves when I was a kid] has been broken for so long it’s ridiculous. I can’t convince her to toss it, though, because she loved it so much. So every so often, we haul it out, put new batteries in it, and sometimes that makes it work. For about five minutes.
    I will not be among the purchasers of a pentop.

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