For my assignment, I chose two metal glasses wired each other as one of the old vocal communication technology. It is considered as a very beginning version of the phone. I used to make it with paper cups and a piece of string when I was at the kindergarten. Making this device is very simple. First, prepare two metal cans or paper cups and a piece of wire or string. Then, connect two cans/cups with a wire/string. When someone speaks to one of the speaker, his/her voice is transmitted through a wire/string, and another at the end can hear the voice through the speaker.
The whole structure was simple. Two identical metal cylinders without the top sealed were connected to each other by a piece of flexible metal string that is attached to each of their bottom. These two topless cylinders were not heavy but light, small enough to grab one in each hand, and had no gaps or holes on the surface. The metal string attached was long about 2 to 3 meters and was the only thing attached to the cylinders.
For the first time I saw them, I thought they are old-fashioned bells that should be hung at the ceiling. I attached the middle part of the string to the ceiling and beat cylinders together. The sound was awful. So, I concluded they are not bells. Since these cylinders did not have the top, they were not for containing foods or drink either. Suddenly, I thought it could be a tool for young children who just start to walk. I tied one end to a child and let him hold one cylinder in his hand, when I hold the other in my hand to pull him slightly forward. Since the child had something to hold on, he could manage to stand up by himself. When I pulled a cylinder in my hand as I walked, the child could notice what direction he should walk and followed me. Parents with young children always concern not to lose their children when they go out, because young children tend to go anywhere they want without noticing their parents walk in a different direction. However, using this tool does not let this happen and helps training kids’ walking. Thus, I concluded this is a tool of which purposes are not losing young children and practicing them to stand up and walk. What it would confront is parents’ concern of its safety and need. According to Berkun, ‘innovation… asks for faith in something unknown over something known to be safe” (p.56). When babies just start to walk, most parents are happy with watching them and usually do not think of teaching or guiding them to walk better. Parents would not consider buying this device. Moreover, its safety and effectiveness are not proven or guaranteed yet. Parents would doubt whether their babies would be safe with using this device and are more likely not to buy it in order to avoid potential danger on their kids. Moreover, babies become better walker by themselves, which is observed most times and what parents experienced when they were young. Although the safety of this device is proved, parents would not see the necessity of it. This point corresponds to Roger’s idea of compatibility as well. Roger said “cost is greater than the relative advantage, most people won’t try the innovation” (p.65). If parents do not notice improvement in babies’ walking or babies get hurt by falling or losing a grip on the cylinder, parents would think they just wasted their money and could not protect their kids well. Since the cost outweighs advantages, this new technology would not be welcomed by any of consumers. Another concept that Roger talked about is relative advantage which asks “what values does the new thing have compared to the old” (p.65). If parents believe their babies would not need additional walking practice because they would walk better as they grow older, just like what they did, they would not even consider using this new technology. Although this new technology has benefits for babies’ physical development and easier trips with babies, it could be possibly ignored at first and take some time for understanding its advantages.
|METAL GLASSES WIRED.png||54.21 KB|