Thursday, August 12, 2004

Size Matters

There is a general tend among the makers of technology to keep making things smaller. Which is fine when making something smaller means making it work better or faster. Quite often, however, things become smaller just for the sake of being smaller.

There is however a downside. Somethings have become so small that it has begun to affect the usablity of the item. Two examples being cell phones and digital cameras.

I went with Ralph and Gail to a celphone store yesterday. All but two or three of the phones were too small for me to use. While I would be able to place a call with the small phones, I would have to spend a lot of effort to do so. The buttons are so small, I would have to use both hands to dial the number. I could hold a slightly larger phone in one hand and dial with my thumb. Not so with the smaller phones. It is getting to the point where I will need a pointy stick to dial a cell phone.

Digital cameras are also becoming too small. The main problem with this is that they become more and more suseptible to camera shake. I, for one, need a camera with a little more weight to it to be able to hold it steady. Something with a little more inertia to help ward off the tiny vibrations.

Manufacturers, please concentrate on making things the right size rather than just smaller. I mean, feel free to make the micro chips smaller, but leave the case they come in the propper size. A phone should be big enough to dial the numbers using only one hand to both hold the phone and dial the number, but small enough to fit in your pocket. A camera should be big enough that you can hold it steady. A laptop should have a big enough screen and keyboard, but should be very light.

Really, with most things, you could make them thinner with out comprimizing the important aspect of their size. Only two of the dimentions need to be big with many gadgets, length and widths. Go ahead and make slimmer phones and laptops. Leave the keypads large, but make the batteries and chipsets smaller.

-Gary Milner

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