Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Who Wore It Better? Apple vs Penny

The Apple watch has been released today with much fanfare and excitement. The watch is available in 3 different types (Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition) in different materials and finishes, at corresponding price points.

The watch has a lot to offer users, but is it really as good as the original prototype set forth by Penny from Inspector Gadget? To me, this is the ultimate watch.

As a kid, I used to scour the show bag stands at the local fair hoping there would be a Penny watch inside the Inspector Gadget show bag. Of course I didn't realise I would have to wait 20 years for said watch, and that the watch would not come with assorted plastic Penny paraphernalia (my earliest Gadget show bag had Penny's face on a ping pong paddle which seemed kinda rude at the time) nor would it retail at the imminently respectable show bag price of $10. (The Apple Watch Edition has a sapphire face and special 18 carat thing-a-me-bobs (say WHAT?!) and will retail at US$10,000).

So for $349 for the Sport or $10,000 for the Edition, is it better than Penny's watch? Buzzfeed tells it like it is:

1. Like Penny's watch, you can make calls from the Apple Watch. 1 - 1.

2. You can make video calls from both. 2 - 2.

3. Both watches synch to other devices (admittedly, the iPad and laptop are a little better than Penny's rather cumbersome book, but even so, the book was marvellous for its time). 3 - 3.

4. Penny's watch has a multi-functional laser beam. Apple's does not. 4 - 3 to Penny.

5. Penny's watch has a flashlight for escaping dangerous situations. Apple's does not. 5 -3.

7. Penny's watch has GPS tracking. Perfect for stalking your partner if you don't trust them (WHAT?!) or - in my best dreams - precisely identifying ice cream shops that are still open at midnight when everywhere else is shut. 6 - 3.

8. Penny's watch also has a strong magnet. In the modern, non-crime fighting world, I expect this would enable you to collect your keys off the bench from a distance as you run out the door. 7 - 3.

9. Penny's watch DETECTS RADIOACTIVITY. While you may not think that's important now, in a potentially post-apocalyptic world, I can definitely see the benefit of that! 8 - 3.

So there you have it. Penny's watch - devised 20 years ago - is still far and away the more advanced product. Sadly, it doesn't exist. While I couldn't bear to part with my beautiful, wedding-gifted Rolex, I can see the novelty value of an Apple watch. But not for $10,000!

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