Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

The Next Big Thing
David Simmonds

Everyone has been getting down on Apple recently. They say it is more preoccupied with protecting its turf, as Microsoft did; rather than with innovating, which is what made the company great.

Well, according to our sources, the company is not far off roaring back, big time, with an innovative new product called a ‘game changer’ by those who have seen the mock-ups.

Apparently, Apple executives took a weeklong retreat last summer at an ashram in the Indian province of Rajasthan, at which they spent six days in meditative contemplation of a picture of the late company founder, Steve Jobs. On the seventh day, they brainstormed. They asked themselves a number of questions, including the one that sources say gave them their moment of insight.

The big questions as “What is the biggest problem of the success of our iPods, iPads and iPhones?” They pondered. The answer came over them. The mobile products contain so much data that to lose one is a personal catastrophe. They reasoned further; we need to make a product that can’t be lost. They went forth back into the world and set up a crack team to come up with a product that would meet that challenge.

Accordingly, assuming there are no more factory worker revolts in China, next fall will see the introduction of the “thiPhone” (TM) (pronounced “thigh-Phone”), a mobile phone/pad/pod device that is implanted beneath the skin. It’s revolutionary, of course, because its beauty lies in the integration of product and user. “We simply implant the chip in the fleshy part of the upper thigh,” said one Apple source - left or right, it doesn’t matter.” People have talked about putting a chip on spectacles, but this is another generational leap ahead, says the source: who wears spectacles in the shower?

The device will run on voice commands and will provide voice responses. So that, for example, if you want to ask the thiPhone (TM) a phone number, it will speak the number back to you and even dial it for you. “I know the concept of a talking leg sounds a little bizarre, at first,” said another source. “It was the concept of people conducting intimate conversations at full blast on portable phones in the supermarket checkout line a little strange at first too?”

At the same time, the chip will employ pulse and blood flow recognition technology. So, for example, if a man’s heart starts to race when he sees an attractive woman, the chip will sense he needs her phone number, scan her for the presence of media and prompt the user by asking whether he wants to dial the number. Users can send commands by blinking, tapping the feet, coughing, laughing or sighing.

What about keyboards used to enter commands? What screens upon which to see? How will my thiPhone (TM) show me the pictures of the latest Kardashian wedding? The answer is another step forward. The tiny, about 3” by 3”, combination screen and keyboard will be heavily magnetized and thus adhere to the thigh, through even the thickest overalls. Because all information embeds in the chip and the chip in the user, the screen and keyboard can be lightweight and disposable. It’s eye-catching, simple design will be sculpted from cardboard and Saran Wrap, and made in a range of designer colours.

“Here’s the beautiful thing about that concept,” said our source. “Just as you needed to buy music from iTunes to fuel your iPod, and apps from the Apple Store to run your iPhone, you’ll need to buy a new screen about once a month. It will be a bigger scam than buying $50 a cartridge ink to keep your $100 printer going.”

Apple is currently locked in negotiations with the American Association of Tattoo Artists (AATA) to perform implantations and make tattooing services available at Apple stores; so that a person who is proud to be implanted with the thiPhone (TM) chip can show that fact to the world with an Apple logo tattoo. Of course, Apple executives will insist that tattoo artistry will have to be up to Mr. Jobs’ standards; which is why the negotiations have been protracted and shrouded in secrecy.

The maker expects thiPhone (TM) retail at about $499, a price that includes a six-month supply of screen or keyboards and basic implantation by an AATA-licensed tattoo artist. Replacement screen or keyboards will sell at about $19.95. Higher end models will include the tungsten, platinum and titanium level chips, for those with an eye to designer status, although the only way that someone will know that a higher end model is coming to market is to obtain an authorized Apple/AATA tattoo that says so.

What’s beyond that? According to our source, Apple researchers are hard at work already on the next iteration of the thiPhone (TM): a chip that slowly and safely dissolves into the bloodstream over a two, three or five year period. Apple reasons that some people may tire of the concept of having obsolete junk floating around in their bodies and will want to start fresh with each technical advance.

Oh, Mr. Jobs, you would be so proud of your old gang. Just don’t blow a fuse until the tattoo stuff sorts out.

Some readers seem intent on nullifying the authority of David Simmonds. The critics are so intense; Simmonds is cast as more scoundrel than scamp. He is, in fact, a Canadian writer of much wit and wisdom. Simmonds writes strong prose. He dissects, in a cheeky way, what some think sacrosanct. His wit refuses to allow the absurdities of life to move along, nicely, without comment. What Simmonds writes frightens some readers. He doesn't court the ineffectual. Those he scares off are the same ones that will not understand his writing. Satire is not for sissies. The wit of David Simmonds skewers societal vanities, the self-important and their follies as well as the madness of tyrants. He never targets the outcasts or the marginalised; when he goes for a jugular, its blood is blue. David Simmonds, by nurture, is a lawyer. By nature, he is a perceptive writer, with a gimlet eye, a superb folk singer, lyricist and composer. He believes quirkiness is universal; this is his focus and the base of his creativity. "If my humour hurts," says Simmonds,"it's after the stiletto comes out." He's an urban satirist on par with Mike Barnacle, Jimmy Breslin, the late Mike Rokyo and, increasingly, Dorothy Parker. He writes from and often about the village of Wellington Ontario. Simmonds also writes for the Wellington "Times," in Wellington, Ontario.

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