Purses and platforms

I last wrote about what companies could do to make large-screen Mobile Internet Devices (regardless of producer or actual name) more attractive to consumers.  To spare you having to read the epic piece, in summary my analysis is that everything comes down to the out-of-the-box experience.  Average users do not want to configure or code– at the most they want to install and go, with a ready path to any available installations.

When I say “large screen” note that I’m thinking 3 to maybe 6 inches diagonal.  Any less and it might as well be an MP3 player, any more and it might as well be a netbook or even touchscreen notebook.

I am constantly seeing a demand for such devices, particularly with uses such as ebook readers, portable internet, GPS, et al.  There are typically no complaints about the device size while it’s in use– the gripes come when transport between uses is the issue.

What hit home for me very recently, though, was that the MID transport issue is a problem for only one demographic:


Women, you see, carry purses.  Within the confines of these usually-soft monstrosities one can find entire medicine chests, photo albums and food dispensers.  So why not a MID?  Well, by and large the devotion to this device class seems to come from the other camp.  The one complaining about portability.

So maybe the solution is not so much logistical as it is behavioral.  Either find a way to sell more women on these toys, or encourage male users to pair up with a purse-toting partner more often.  Granted that some men have already overcome the testosterone-driven resistance to purses (the first step is to rename them, i.e., “utility bag”) and so this isn’t an issue.

Of course it’s easy to talk.  Apparently adding another pound to my wife’s typical hernia-inducing load is a problem.  And suggesting she simply remove a pound of unnecessary items beforehand is met with a stoney glare.  She’s not getting any use from the burden.

The heck with it.  It’s time to get serious about roll-up devices…


10 responses to “Purses and platforms

  1. I proudly carry a gadget bag whenever I need to carry more than just 1 phone with me. It’s a messenger bag style, very manly. $20 at Target, has a crapload of pockets – I can easily carry my 1000HE, power cord, 2 phone chargers, a wireless mouse, ethernet cord, a few phones, and other necessities in it.

    I also have a few full-sized laptop bags, but they’re overkill 80% of the time.

    My friends like to call it my ‘murse’, though, so I don’t know if I’ve really bucked the trend at all.

  2. I would find it very handy to have a bag with me all the time, and I’m not worried about the gender stuff, but it’s just too much of a pain and I would forget it all the time. At one point I tried a waist pouch thing, but it was just too geeky.

    So I squeeze my N800 into my pants pocket, which works OK for me. But it’s annoying when I want to wear shorts, or a particular pair of pants that has smaller pockets.

    How about a gadget holder with a harness, like an undercover cop’s shoulder holster? Seems plenty masculine….

    • The Ffejery

      “How about a gadget holder with a harness, like an undercover cop’s shoulder holster? Seems plenty masculine…”
      http://urbantool.biz has exactly that – I have the hipHolster model, and while it won’t carry an N810, it carries my camera, phone, pocket flashlight, keys, and my N810’s USB cable. It’s a great product, and although it is rather expensive for the materials it’s made of (neoprene and pleather, mainly), the build quality is superb. That, a good pair of cargo pants, and one of HP’s iPaq belt cases is my standard “going somewhere” gear. Also of note is that if you have one of IOGear’s portable rechargeable battery packs, they fit great in some of Motorola’s phone belt cases (I think it’s the old Razr one with the big plastic clip).

  3. Sorry tso, you went to spam. 😀

    Anyway, the manbag links are all very welcome. But I can’t see myself using the chest holster type. Here in trigger-happy Texas that could be misconstrued!

  4. divide_by_zero

    I used to carry a black square bag with books in college. Then I changed to a backpack for my 15” notebook, and now I’m planning to move again to a bag, since I only carry my N800 now.

    I want to get a bag like 24’s Jack Bauer, he’s always with that lather bag pulling all sorts of secret agent stuff out.

    I used to have a fanny pack too. I would carry an HP 11C calculator and my wallet. Then I bought a 48G, and it was the end of my early wearable computing attempt.

    I’ve been carrying my N800 a lot in the inner pocket of my jacket, and it’s just perfect. If I manage to get a grunge style shirt with an inner pocket to use when it’s hot, it would be awesome. With some stripes to hold the heaphone wires in place too!…

    If I manage to shrink my wallt, I might be even able to move it to the cell phone pocket, and just carry the N800 in my pants pocket. No, I wouldn’t like it to be a cell phone too, I really want them to be two separate devices!

  5. After a long struggle must admit that I converted to (geek) bags, too. At least in summer.
    When it’s colder, I’ve my multipocket gilet (really, a bunch of them) to bring all my toys.
    At present my Kipling bag contains:
    n810, e90, e51, selected cables and adapters, BT keyboard, 3 usb sticks (16Gb each), solar powered backup battery, pen and pencil, keys, and wallet.

  6. turn.self.off

    it just dawned on my why “manbags” are commented on.

    a “true” man has a car that he can stuff his gear into, and should be within reach, any where, any time…

    needing a bag shows that said man cant afford a car, or its use…

    heh, lets just say i find the whole “manbag” thing a bit perplexing…

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