Last night, I went over to REI to pick up my cycle trainer. It’s a little frame I can drop my bike into to provide some resistance while riding inside. I plan on making all of my Star Trek watching a little more productive. I’m also hoping a little evening exercise will help me sleep better.
However, I was also seeking out the following products at REI and the nearby Best Buy and Staples:
- Goggles for winter night riding I need them to be anti-fog, polarized for headlights, but otherwise mostly clear. All of the ski goggles REI had were for daytime snow glare; the one set of cycling sunglasses they carry was out of stock and unnecessarily expensive (read: Oakley), and the lenses were clear and not anti-fog. I want full goggles anyway, for the wind protection.
- Wireless USB (WUSB) hub There are a bunch of press releases about these products from almost a year ago, but none of them actually exist yet as far as I can tell. When I ask people are stores, they think I mean USB wireless hub, where wireless is being used as an overly generic term for 802.11 wireless networking. I don’t see what’s taking so long; the standards have been out for a while, and the products were demoed at expos earlier in the year. I want one now.
- Bluetooth remote control The only ones that exist are cruddy little presentation remotes with slide forward/back buttons. Most of the remotes come with their own dongle; my computer has built in Bluetooth! This would be like shipping a USB card with every USB device. What I basically want is a programmable, TV-size remote that connects via Bluetooth.
I know I’ve ranted about it before, but it all comes back to orthogonality of feature sets. I know that anti-fog coatings exist; I know that full goggles exist; I know that nighttime lenses exist. I want the three in combination, but I am apparently in the long tail and so my product does not exist.
The fundamental problem, of course, is that there are very few people who ride a bicycle at night during the winter, there are very few people who watch their TV through their computer, and there are very few people who have a projector in a separate room from the components that feed it video.
I also have the problem of knowing that all of this technology is possible, and then getting frustrated when I can’t understand why I can’t buy it yet. I should just start buying my own Bluetooth chipsets.