This week Apple Inc unveiled two new models of mobile phones, something which its aficionados had been waiting for since the day the previous model was launched. That is the beauty of any cutting-edge technology, state-of-the art Apple product: It promptly becomes obsolete the moment it is available in the market.
Also, Apple has also managed to create a unique brand of consumers who will be happy if it came up with new phones every week, which they will proceed to buy even if it meant mortgaging a couple of their body parts. Other phone brands don’t enjoy such loyalty. You can spot an Apple product user even in the midst of 500-600 strong crowd, mostly because he or she would be the one shamelessly drawing attention to the instrument for no real reason.
1st Person (on a motorbike, and to no one in particular): This traffic jam is killing. Is there no proper signal in these parts?
2nd Person (on another bike): You should get an Apple phone like me. It works even with low signals.
1st person: (Gritting his teeth) Dude, I was talking about traffic signals, which, if you bothered to take your eyes off from your goddamn phone, you will find to be not working and that is why we are stranded here for the last 20 minutes.
2nd person: But that is no real excuse to not get an Apple phone.
Colleague: This new app I downloaded from itunes is kickass. You just can’t beat the apps available for Apple-users.
Another colleague: (sidling up to him): But why are you telling that to the water cooler?
As you can see, when you decide to buy such top-of-the-line brand stuff, two things happen
1)You pay 200 or 300% more than their actual cost.
2) For some strange reason, you will not think that to be stupid. On the contrary, you’ll take pride in that.
Getting back to the newly-released model of Apple phone, it is said to come embedded with ‘fingerprint sensor’, a biometrics feature that will provide access only to the ‘true’ owner of the phone. In other words, if someone steals your iphone, they can make use of the phone if only he or she had the foresight to abduct you along. If any technology that entails kidnapping of Apple phone-users, any welfare-minded society should welcome, if not actively encourage, it.
Technologists are betting big on biometrics as it takes something unique to an individual as authentication. In general, it is believed that there are only three things unique to an individual — fingerprint, iris and, most importantly, potty habit. Apple, in the coming years, can be expected to use all the three.
No, seriously, the new feature, named ‘Touch ID’, is said to be the future where, as one analyst gushed breathlessly, ‘your favorite gadget might become a biometric pass to the workplace, mobile commerce or real-world shopping and events.’ We must look forward to the events and workplace that will offer such exclusivity to Apple-users, so that they will give us a good chance to put to proper use all the chemical weapons lying idle in Syria and other places.
Come to think of it, fingerprint scanners are not exactly new. Some brands of laptops used to come fitted with this. Having used one of them a few years back, I can vouch for its safety, and not even once could anybody gain access to any of my documents and files in the laptop. Of course, it might also have been due to the fact that since it was a personal laptop, I did not have to take it out at all. And the only time I had to carry it out was when the fingerprint scanner refused to work.
At the computer shop, the service guy heard me out and looked at me, without even opening the laptop, he pronounced with finality, ‘dirt, that is what has caused the problem. As the service engineer, what would you tell me to do, I asked rather impatiently. He took a deep breath and told me something very technical, something which only computer geek like me can understand. ‘Have your fingernails cleaned,’ he told me. It turned out that the grime on my fingertip was causing the scanner to malfunction.
I just hope the technicians at Apple take note of this practical niggle and introduce on itunes a simple way to have a quick and smart manicure.