I'LL tell you what I've always wanted.
A talking shoe. Google, treading carefully into the market, has anticipated my quiet desires and come up trumps.
The shoe, a rather chunky trainer unveiled at the South By Southwest festival in Texas, has a speaker in the tongue and calls feedback to whoever is wearing it to encourage or discourage certain activities. Running – good. Lying on the couch eating chips – bad. Or vice versa, depending on your priorities.
The shoe says things like: "I need to feel the wind in my laces" and "Are you a statue? Let's do this already". Other motivational mots include: "Call 999. You're on fire," "You've made me a very proud shoe" and "Wait 'til I tell my friends about this."
It's not clear if it's going to be available in the shops or not but it's out there and it's a genius idea. As my column-mate Tom Shields mentioned recently, Google also has talking glasses about to hit the market.
I need a talking handbag. It would help get me through the day. Every time I reached for my purse it would scold me. It would always be able to tell me where my mobile phone is hiding. Ditto pens. It would just be nice to have some company on the bus.
Last year I read about a talking fridge with an in-built dietician that passes comment on your food choices. That's all you need. A pass remarkable fridge. It's like having your mother embedded in your white goods. There was another chatty refrigerator that could monitor the contents of your fridge and order food automatically. That's a bridge too far. A talking belt buckle would do a similar job. At the first sense of strain it could call out a restraining comment.
My grandmother, sprightly and spruce, used to run an eye over me and, unimpressed by my sartorial choices, say: "Is that what you're wearing?" It was my cue to get changed.
Talking clothes would know how to co-ordinate with each other. They would find their matching garments and take the stress out of dressing. My friends' husbands despair of dressing their babies. The last time I saw a friend's wee boy he looked like a tiny, pink-faced pimp. This technology would revolutionise baby clothes and the lives of new dads.
Talking clothes. I don't know how we've survived this long without them.
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