OK, I admit it. I am a nerd toy junkie.
If it's new and microprocessor related I want one. Sorry, correction: I need one.
So it will come as no surprise that I own an iPhone and I keep an eye out for applications that do something innovative and analytic. There are now a number of very useful applications that are part of my work day - from BusinessObjects Explorer to Wolfram|Alpha. I have however learnt to be careful and avoid the seemingly vast number of iApps that serve no sane purpose at all. Peer group pressure has in the past done a good job of controlling my trigger-happy finger. I just couldn't resist going to the website for the iPhone Baby Tracker.
Could I now whack a microchip into the little tykes neck just like I did for Virgil our family labrador? Sit back and track their travels from the comfort of my armchair? Never miss another rerun of Gilligan's Island again? Fantastic - I'll take 2! And I wonder if the wife would agree ...
... but no. The reality was a bit of a let-down.
So I just don't get the idea of Trixie Tracker - the dashboard for your baby.
It does what it claims. You record every detail of babies life and it will generate insight. What sort of insight? From their website:
"Four Ways Diaper Tracking Makes Your Life Easier:
- Know the time of the last poopy diaper (and know when it's time to give prunes).
- Keep track of leaks and accidents. Figure out why and when accidents happen.
- Estimate diaper usage so you'll know when it's time to buy more.
- Encourage potty training because you are aware of the schedule."
Maybe I'm wrong and in any case, in my day, this would have been a job for Inga, the Swedish au pair.
How did I ever raise 2 children without visualising their nappy changes and bowl movements?:
Even assuming I needed this app - and that's a big assumption - what about getting serious about bowel movements? Where's the ability to record the type of movement using indistry standard categorisation by the Bristol Stool Scale? Or being able to include external data sets?
So come on Trixie Telemetry LLC and get serious about industry standard data classification and EDI! I want - no - I need to be able to import data sets from my toddlers pre-school classmates so that I can prove how regular my child's bowel movements are (and correspondingly) how sub-standard your offspring is.
And Trixie, please don't forget about the microchip in the neck idea. Think of the applications. I could tag my entire BI team and track their every movement. That'd redefine the notion of what a time and motion study could do. Forget Porter's 5 Forces, and welcome to the era of Bennett's 7 Movements.
Seems like I have become that grumpy old man from the BBC TV shows so I'll stop now. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!
Have a very analytic new year.
Postscipt, January 2010:
My brother (a doctor) was given a children's version of the chart. I can't resist posting it here: