Technology takes second place to Teletubbies
Millennium Product list gives IT the cold shoulder
The IT sector is still confined to the sidelines of geekiness, despite all the hype from the government that information technology is the way forward for the UK. If proof of this was needed, it can be seen in the latest list of Millennium Products as drawn up by the Design Council. Among the list of ground breaking products, the Teletubbies and Viagra have been picked to represent the heights of innovation and design in the country. Some 201 new products have been announced in this third selection batch, but only 12 of them come from the IT sector. A representative of the Design Council said that considering the number of different categories there are in the selection process, the 12 IT products selected actually make up a large proportion of all selections. Closely behind the cuddly toys with TVs in their tummies and the magic little blue pill comes Hairnet, the number one IT Millennium Product. Hairnet is an attempt to bring the world of the Internet to blue rinsed grannies – once they’ve got the hang of it presumably they can get stuck into a game of Tomb Raider, another Millennium Product. Hairnet is hotly pursued by a Hindi word processor for Windows and a software application designed to help companies calculate their packaging obligations – whatever that means! Some other Millennium products that you may never have heard of include Insidetrak, bar-code scanning software allowing customers to see product information and Clementine, software which finds patterns in data to help to reduce junkmail, uncover fraud, discover new medicines and predict demand or sales. In fact the only IT product selected so far which might be recognised by the man on the street is the Psion series 5. So for all those who were wondering who the Millennium Dome is actually for, we now have the answer. It’s for Internet surfing, Hindi speaking grannies! ®
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