To be honest, this is what I love about Apple. It’s the little things. It’s the alphabet-pop-ups that appear when scrolling through my music on my iPod. It’s the application of real world physics to the scrolling on the new iPhone. The damn thing bounces when you hit the end of the list! It’s the use of the ambient light sensor on a MacBook Pro to not only dim the screen to save power but also light some LEDs so the keys on my keyboard show up. I can type at night without a night light! Fabulous! It’s the same principle that made Disco create such a furor of style over function. It wasn’t that it could burn disks. No-one cares. We can all do that. It was that it gives off smoke, INTERACTIVE smoke, while burning. This distracts you from the wait while it burns. It’s like putting mirrors beside elevators – we’re so fascinated with our own loveliness that we forget how long it takes for the oppressive little metal box to arrive. And again, mirrors inside elevators so we can try to block out the odour of the guy who just got in. Disco went further. They uses the sudden motion sensor in the Apple laptops to sense when you were jiggling your machine around and popped up a warning as wobbling the drive could cause a coaster instead of a functional CD. These things required thought. And delight on the part of the development team which they were able to impart to the user.
Whether or not you hated the fuss about Disco is immaterial. If you blogged about the features, you raved. If you blogged about the problem you have with style over function, you just drew more eyeballs to their site. It’s bold, it makes you smile and everyone I’ve spoken to downloaded it, just to see. Last time I checked, the smoke didn’t work with Intel GMA950 graphics or NVIDIA graphics cards. When was the last time you kinda wanted to upgrade your graphics card so you could see something like smoke rising from an application? Nuts.
Inspiring this kind of delight doesn’t require big budgets from a marketing department. In fact, your marketing department probably will never think of something like this. Marketeers never do.
Another thing that made me smile today was this little excerpt from Healthbolt:
What happens right now if you drink a Coke
In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You donâ€™t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (Thereâ€™s plenty of that at this particular moment)
40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dialate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
I’ve not missed drinking Fat Coke since I switched to Diet in the new year. How smug do I feel?