Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why no company will again make devices to fit into the front pockets of americans

Google Groups : comp.sys.palmtops.pilot

Well, at least until we either alter our genes or find a therapy to treat and prevent obesity. From a posting I just made to usenet on my frustration with the current lack of front-pocketable PDAs (I fixed a typo induced by Google Group bugs.):
...I saw the other comments about using a belt holder, etc. They are all true, but they don't quite address the focus of my complaint. I used a Vx for years, it worked well in my front pocket.

True, I'm a tad heavier, but my pants are proportionately looser as well ...

Uh-ho. (Little light bulb goes off over John's head.)

I think I just answered my question. There will never be another PDA designed to fit in a man's front pants pocket. All future PDAs, phones, etc will be sized for either a minimum of a suit-jacket pocket or a belt clip. This doesn't mean they have to be big and fat, but it's a different size specification than a pant pocket (the shirt pocket was never practical -- that pocket can barely hold a pen).

We americans are just getting too heavy. You can't put a PDA in a back pocket (obviously), but the number of americans who could actually put a Vx in their front pocket, and have it survive, has significantly shrunk over the past five years. Obesity is moving into this space.

Basically, the bigger we get, the less useful front pockets become. Like our appendix, they are an evolutionary vestige of earlier days. Weight and age have made them obsolete.

In the world to come we will indeed have to get used to belt devices, or backpacks/purses, or the return of some variant of the "mens suit jacket/leisure jacket".

I'll probably go the route of the beltable device, but I can barely stand one such. Two are unthinkable. That means, despite my dislike of paying over $250for a fragile and easily lost device, I'll have to get a Treo 650. I just need to find a way to insure it for loss and breakage...

meta: jfaughnan, jgfaughnan, usability, PDA, CLIE, Palm, PalmOne, Palm Vx, form factor, market, physiology, human factors, obesity, weight gain, demographics, clothing, evolution, pockets

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