Hypothetical items I’d buy for Christmas if I could

If these products existed, they’d make it onto my Christmas list for me and my loved ones:

The open ebook reader

  • Electronic paper screen
  • A DRM-free format (in a perfect world) or at the very least a format that allows borrowing (from libraries and friends), lending and passing on of ownership, like a real book
  • Not necessarily much memory (2Gb would easily do) but lots of battery life
  • RSS subscriptions
  • The ability to subscribe to the paper versions of magazines like the New Yorker and Wired (but get them electronically rather than on paper)
  • An optional waterproof case to cater for the people in my life who like reading books in the bath with candles lit and a glass of wine
  • Optionally, a screen reader

Bespoke television

  • Streaming TV through the Internet, with an optional set-top box for a standard TV
  • Subscribe to any TV channel anywhere, both free and pay, without having to commit to a package of multiple channels (although you might have to pay a TV license to get British channels, for example)
  • Digital Video Recorder capabilities
  • Subtitles (new media technologies shouldn’t be allowed to step backwards on support for the hearing impaired)
  • Movies and TV shows on demand (paid)
  • Pushing the boat out: the ability to pay more to excuse yourself from watching commercials

All-in-one health kit

  • Blood pressure and unobtrusive heart rate monitors
  • Pedometer
  • USB connectors for all of the above
  • Software that reads from the above and also prompts you to enter your age, weight, daily food, any additional exercise and health issues
  • Produces fitness plan to meet goals, whether they’re improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, etc

In the meantime, happy holidays to all of you, and best wishes for an excellent new year.






One response to “Hypothetical items I’d buy for Christmas if I could”

  1. Matt Leifer Avatar

    Nice ideas. Here's mine

    The Ultimate Conference Weapon NetReaderBookPhone:

    – Two screens that fold together like a book in order to protect them (about 9 inches each). One screen is a normal laptop LCD display and the other is e-ink. Both are tablet-style touch screens. The e-ink screen can be used to annotate and take notes as well as for reading, a la the Iliad.

    – Ability to "twist" at the hinge so that either one of the screens may be hidden underneath the other one to protect it. The screen on the bottom automatically switches off so that it doesn't consume power. Incredibly low power consumption when just using the e-ink screen.

    – The e-ink screen doubles as a touch-screen keyboard when both screens are open.

    – Every type of wireless networking on the planet (including 802.whatever, 3G, EVDO, bluetooth). Intelligent switching so that only one set of wireless components is consuming power at any given time.

    – GPS with iPhone style restrictions so that it does not consume too much power.

    – Phone using built in speakers and microphone. Ability to connect to bluetooth headset and handset accessories.

    – Both a DVI port and a VGA port for hooking up to projectors (or at least some kind of system that doesn't require me to remember to bring any dongles with me). Actually, scratch that. Let's have a dongle that connects to the projector, no display ports on the device, but the device connects to the dongle wirelessly so that I do not have to stand close to wherever the conference organisers have put the connector.

    – A ridiculously large number of USB2.0 ports to allow the connection of keyboards, mice, ipods, cameras etc.

    – Solid state drive, but also cones with an inordinately large amount of cloud storage that syncs automatically with your desktop/laptop.

    – Comes with a shirt with pockets large enough to fit the device into.

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