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11/17/2003 Archived Entry: "Products for old people"
Posted by CKL @ 11:37 AM PST

A few days ago, I got a mail order catalog from a company called TechnoScout. After leafing through it, it's pretty clear that their target demographic is age 65 and above. Do you want fake, battery-powered candles which aren't fire hazards? A voice-activated remote control so you don't have to worry about confusing buttons? A clock radio with big-ass numbers? A light-up cane?

It's nice to see the senior population embracing the wonders of technology, even if they are more than a little cheesy and several years behind the state of the art. I have to admit, the two-way wrist radios for Dick Tracy fans are actually a pretty cool idea.

My problem with catalogs like this is that because they offer ostensibly one-of-a-kind products, they have no competition and therefore no impetus to create a better product. All they need to do is sell the gimmick. Talk to your TV and change channels! Get romantic candelight without messy wax drippings! Of course, they probably expect their consumers to croak in a few years anyway, so they're not so much worried about repeat business.

I'm a cold-hearted bastard? I'm not the one who uses "Your voice turns me on!" as the tagline for a voice operated light switch. Shameless, I tell you. Shameless.

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Posted by @ 00/00/ 00:00 PST

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