Forget smart phones. I want an “anti-dumb” phone.
As in one that says, “Hey, to make sure you don’t screw up, I’m going to be your kindergarten teacher/nursemaid and lay everything out where you need it.”
It starts out by saying, “Wait just one sec. Look around and see if we can get this cheaper.”
Have a look:
With Shop Savvy, the phone can scan anything from a book to a CD to a bottle of Snapple. It uses the built-in camera to scan the bar code, and up pops the cheapest price on the product as well as reviews from people who have purchased the product. Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96817211
Recently they added a feature that allows you to know the retailers’ inventories as well.
With the barcode and the product in there, why not take it a step further? Why not have it say, “Now that you have it home, I’ll make sure you know how to put it together and use it without either destroying it or cussing it and taking it back to the store.” Here’s how:
You bring home, for example a new Panasonic HDTV. It begins by scanning in the product and, voila, there’s the interactive user’s manual. Right there where it’s never lost.
- Before you start to install the television, you’re asked what other components you’re using. With that information, you also have the manuals for everything in your home entertainment system. What’s more, the manual is then able to guide you through what wires go where. Pictures and video show how to hook this up to your Tivo, your satellite box, Blue ray player and the VCR that you bought back in 2003.
- You come to a step you just can’t understand –even after repeated readings. You hit a link on your phone and it not only rings tech support hands them your model and serial numbers (thus saving both of you all the preliminaries), it tells them where, exactly, you happen to be stuck in the process. The voice on the other side of the phone says, “Oh, Mr. Branson, you seem to be stuck on step 13. Let me try to talk you through it.” What’s more, your recorded conversion is transmitted to the people who wrote step number 6. If they determine a way to make the whole thing easier to follow, they can make and post corrections before support gets the next call on step 6.
- After all the wires are set up, it asks you to connect your Panasonic remote to your phone and programs the settings for all your components. That way you can use one remote for everything.
- Years later, you decide to donate the TV to a charity resale shop. Fortunately, whoever buys it will have the user’s manual and everything that came with it right at their fingertips.
- Immediate Product registration. Bye, bye warranty cards. The phone sends your contact info to the manufacturer.
- Recall notification. If the toaster you bought a while back is found to spontaneously catch fire, every owner knows right away, every which way. Lawyers should like that.
- Repair Centers. 30 seconds from “Damn, I need to get this fixed” to contact that already knows everything about the machine and its owner.
- Parts and accessories. That back cover that came off your remote? A car charger for your MP3 player? Hit a button and find it.
The end result is that people have a product that works better and lasts longer. As for Shop Savvy, that’s just the tip of the, um, well, you know.