Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Back to the "smaller" issue - more than size matters (iamaKey)

Last Friday, I published a post entitled Is Smaller Truly Better? in which I wondered whether devices such as iPods were getting to be TOO small. If you missed it, here's an excerpt:

At some point, the devices get TOO small. Now you're not going to lose a boom box, and you'd have to have a pretty messy room to lose a Walkman. But an iPod nano? They get lost all the time....

So in essence, you have a poorly designed product that easily falls out of your pockets and gets lost in plane seats and in the snow. Yes, I know that people admire the aesthetics of the device, but how useful are the aesthetics if you can't find the danged thing?

However, I made one error (only one?) in my analysis - I only accounted for the size of the device, but didn't account for other factors.

Many of us have memory sticks that we use to transport relatively small amounts of data from one device to another. But Louis Gray links to a March jkOnTheRun review of a product from LaCie called iamaKey. This is a very small USB flash drive, available in 4 GB and 8 GB sizes.

Now if you use the logic from my July 3 post, a very small USB drive would be the worst thing that you'd want to have, since it would be harder to lose a very small USB drive than it would be to lose a somewhat small USB drive. But in this case it would be harder to lose because the very small USB drive because...iamaKey is a key. As in "put it on a keychain" key.

Of course, Gray notes:

Of course, if I lose my keys, that's a different issue altogether, so I'll try and avoid that.

But still, the iamaKey example indicates that small is not necessarily bad, as long as the product is designed in such a way as to prevent loss. iamaKey can be put on a keychain. Certain products can come with bands and other items to attach them to some large device, or even to your person.

So perhaps the iPod Touch needs some type of strap to attach it to your forehead. Good idea, as long as the strap is not a closed proprietary solution.

P.S. The last link above goes to a discussion that I started on the AppsLab blog regarding the admiration of open source fans for the Apple closed proprietary solutions. While exploring the blog for weird vibes, I ran across this Jake Kuramoto post which, ironically, read in part:

Ever lose a business card? Those suckers are small, and I’m constantly fishing them out from under my desk.
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