Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do you Wanna Touch? Should Your Phone Touch Other Phones

Recently the world has been inundated by ads talking about how the new Samsung phones can touch each other and share photos, videos, and music. The one with the guys in front of the Apple store making nerds drool with jealousy, the one with the dad getting a naughty video from his wife just as he’s about to leave for the airport. The ad agency deserves top stars for funny commercials, but touching phones, is that something that anyone really does?

People sending what I’ll put down as files, for continuity sake, to each other has never really been a big issue. Downloading things to your phone or tablet is not really something people do. I would much rather see the picture on my Facebook page rather than download it. Same is true of playlists that I have been “gifted”. Often by friends who like the kind of music that causes epileptic fits.  Facebook can show you playlist for you to listen to without really much of a fuss. But maybe the reason that this does not cause a blip on the radar for me and my friends is because, we're not the demo they are looking for.

Say you're a millennial and you and your friends all decide to go to the Oates and Garfunkel show.  You are going to have your heads in your phones, only discussing the upcoming show through Facebook rather than actually physically interacting. Cause WebMD said interacting can cause acne. So how can you show them your cool new cat video unless you touch each other’s phones?  But this seems also to have little grounding in reality.

Because these are kids who have grown up tethered to technology. The actually understand Reddit, and have never paid for music in their lives.  Touching phones would slow down their eco-powered rocket cars on the super information highway. Champions of the Samsung say that they use it to share stuff right away with the people that they are with, giving them a cool thing they can do with each other. Also large files that cannot be done through email are now available through this new feature.  But this a sliver of the population. Who are unlikely to turn Samsung into the new Bo Burnham (look it up, he’s a thing).  

So does this mean that the new Samsung phones will go the way of the Zune? That’s kind of what it looks like. They main tenant of innovation is to make something that was cumbersome simple. Peanut butter and jelly into one container, letting your friends know what you were up to without having to actually hang out with them, driving to an address that you’ve never been to and not ending up in the wrong state. But sharing files since the introduction of cloud tech has pretty much been solved until someone finds a way to directly input things into our brains. And once Apple figures that out I think were pretty much done.