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Most Toys Wins? Gadgets Compete for Market Share & Your Undivided Attention

September 10, 2016 8:11 AM | Columns

By Roger Currie

Is it really true that whoever has the most toys at the end of the game will be the winner? Is that what is driving the latest wave of gadget developments? Maybe I should put those questions to Alexa. Oh, if only she were a real person, but it’s 2016 and she is merely an app developed by Amazon.

Alexa is an electronic assistant who is a feature of the Fire HD 8 tablet. Amazon is cutting the price of the tablet almost in half and adding Alexa, because Christmas shopping season is almost upon us, didn’t you know? You see if you’re lucky enough to own a Fire tablet, all you have to do is tap and hold down the home button, then you can ask Alexa to do almost anything, or answer almost any question.

However, I boldly predict that the name of this tablet will change fairly soon. I mean who would seriously want the word “fire” associated with any digital toy, given what happened at Samsung this summer? That huge company is in the midst of recalling millions of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, one of their absolute flagship toys. It seems the battery charger has been the cause of the ignited incidents. Several airlines have already banned passengers from bringing their Note 7’s on board their planes. I would hope so.

And hands up if you’re excited about wireless AirPods. Until now, you could always tell when someone was zoned out in the private world of their iPod, or similar device, because of the telltale cords that ran from the device to their ears. Now, the wires are disappearing. Distracted driving and walking has been bad enough. Now we won’t even be sure if someone is listening to something, or just plain rude and stupid.

Back to the toys, everyone.

As the great Ebenezer said, “I’ll retire to bedlam.”

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Roger Currie is a writer, storyteller, voice for hire, observer of life on the Canadian prairies, and can be heard on CJNU 93.7FM in Winnipeg.