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Monday, June 11, 2007

His and hers battery chargers?

An interesting story on how consumer electronics companies are essentially developing a his and hers version of the same devices. The example of the battery charger is interesting:

Energizer, the battery maker, went so far as to create a charger for each sex. The Dock & Go, at $33, is aimed at men. Black and gray with shiny trim, the two pods hold up to four batteries each (AA or AAA). A light glows red when it is charging, yellow when it is charged.

The second device, the $20 Easy Charger, is aimed at women, who usually end up managing the household’s batteries. This charger is flat, round and sold with interchangeable faceplates in silver, black and eggshell that help it blend in with kitchen appliances. Large light-emitting-diode readouts spell out what the countertop charger is doing at every phase of the charging cycle. Focus-group testing indicated that men were turned off by the Easy Charger, especially in how its readouts appeared to tell them what they thought they already knew, said Mandy Iswarienko, the brand manger for rechargeable products.

Sometimes I think we men enjoy the challenge of having to know a device in order to use it. Thus the fascination with video games that require mashing up to 10 buttons. And why the Wii - with intuitive pointing remotes - has been played a fair amount by both female and male visitors to our house.

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