when do we get the utility belts?

We were wandering around the National Gallery on Bank Holiday Monday. Nearby they were giving away free samples of this deodorant. I grabbed it, because it's a sample, as you do.

made for utility belts

And it made me think, when will the future be pocket-sized? Who will build my utility belt? Something about the product language just reminds me of the improbably angular bodies and anime stylings of Phantom 2040 or Batman Beyond

I know this is just a sample. But there's something so compelling about the idea that this everyday essential item might just compact down to this bullet or capsule size. I think it's related to the point made by people like Russell Davies about the smarts and awarenesses of digital products being baked into cheap plastic toys. Or the Berg incidental media projects. Or maybe Matthew Sheret's dConstruct talk.

There should be more intelligence to our industrial scale products. They need to feel like the future like weapons or phones or toys do. They don't have to be smart but they should know their place, and understand how and when to pack themselves away, how and when to be playful. Like, I'd like an entire washbag that is wallet-sized. Dishwasher tablets are like that I suppose. But I'd also like a lightbulb that's ecologically friendly, powerful and walnut-sized. Or a biro that has stylus dimensions and writes like a Graf von Faber-Castell fountain pen. 

Cheap, disposable technology that feels like a version of the future in the same way as smartphones or Nike+. A product language feels like it's thinking about what the future will be (which also creates more room for craft and authenticity elsewhere).

Utility belts. They're not too much to ask for.

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One thought on “when do we get the utility belts?

  1. And it made me think, when will the future be pocket-sized? Who will build my utility belt? Something about the product language just reminds me of the improbably angular bodies and anime stylings of Phantom 2040 or Batman Beyond.

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