“Wired” says certain electronic products won’t last.
DEBORAH AMOS, host:
On Monday, we focused on technology – today’s frustration, the pain of technology. In particular, when you come up with all the buttons on your MP3 player and how to program your phone or digital camera, everything stops working. Your high-tech toy becomes an expensive paperweight.
Wired magazine recently raised the question, and some products seem to be young, but actually fail? Mark McClusky is a product editor for Wired magazine. Good morning.
Mr. MARK MCCLUSKY (product editor of Wired magazine) : good morning.
AMOS: it’s not a surprise for the customer, a key breakthrough. So why did you decide to take it?
Mr McClure ‘(MCCLUSKY) : this is a trend, we have noticed that especially when you have so many products through places like magazine – more and more, we just let them have a rest. It’s hard to say, yes, we designed our product to fail. But we know that these technologies have been built on all aspects of life. Therefore, the part it contains and the technology it contains have an implicit design limitation.
AMOS: so what’s the most common problem?
Mr. McCluskey: what we’re hearing now about the most disruptive thing is the iPod. The main reason is that hard drives like the iPod don’t move around people’s ipods. This is a moving part, so you take it with you, hit it, it will fail.
However, there are other things, such as mobile phones that are played well when you carry them in your wallet or pocket. The camera also has a mechanical shutter, which is part of a limited design life. It is rated as a certain number of pictures, and then you may not be lucky.
AMOS: but is it worth it to get these gadgets fixed?
Mr. McCluskey: the problem with many of them is that you can’t get it fixed. Many companies actually don’t even make replacement parts for their products, which is one reason why the cost of repair is too high. In general, replacing it is cheaper than fixing it.
AMOS: you think that consumers have a slightly different view of these products because I bought something and I think, well, I’ve been around for years now. They did something and thought I would create a new one within two years. I want consumers to buy new ones.
I think this is an important point. I think this is the innovation pace of technological change, we are both consumers, and partly because more and more functions are less and less as time goes by. On the other hand, you know, manufacturers are always trying to come up with new, newest, and greatest products, and the focus is on keeping the old ones alive.
AMOS: let’s talk about our own psychology, about the gadgets we buy. In some cases, these are sophisticated hard drives with lots of electronic devices. But we did – we beat them.
Mr. McCluskey: yes. Of course, I think we have some culpability. There’s nothing precious about our gadgets, and, you know, maybe that’s because they’re so common in our lives. You know, I want to 20 years ago when the first mobile phone out, is the size of the phone book, I think people might be more precious than now, now everyone has a card in jeans pocket.
AMOS: ok, thank you very much. Mark McClusky is a product editor for Wired magazine.