Archive for March, 2015

K-Chit? Not On My Watch

Vogue interviewed Jony Ive back in October, hot on the heels of the Apple Watch announcement. Here’s Sir Jony waxing poetic on, of all things, the sound the wristband makes:

“But listen as it closes,” he said. “It makes this fantastic k-chit.” He was nearly whispering. And when he said the word fantastic, he said it softly and slowly—“fan-tas-tic!”—as if he never wanted it to end.

Ive is definitely onto something here. Exhibit A:

The KA-CHIK! does have an atavistic appeal, doesn’t it? Of course, it doesn’t hurt that one of the most ultimate male symbols of days gone by, the only lighter that Marlboro Man would even consider worthy of using in his cancer-courting ritual – the Zippo – is all about the sound it makes:

Opening the top lid produces an easily recognizable “clink” sound for which Zippo lighters are known, and a different but similar “clunk” when the lighter is closed.

The Apple Watch is coming out in just a few weeks, and I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of unboxing videos on YouTube featuring that k-chit of Jony Ive’s dreams.

However…

Apple’s MacBook line has featured a power connector called MagSafe since 2006. A very good invention it is too: the connector attaches itself to the laptop with a magnet, so that when (not if) someone trips on the cord, it detaches and the laptop doesn’t come crashing on the floor. Also, when connecting, one only has to bring the connector to the vicinity of the laptop’s (female) power port, at which time the magnet will take care of business and make the connection – complete with a resounding TCHAK! This is surely not a coincidence.

So: how come if, for the past decade, Apple has had this “fan-tas-tic!” power connector on its laptops… the newly unveiled new-generation MacBook, made of nothing but pixie dust and gilded helium, does not have a MagSafe connector? Jony, Jony, Jony. Where’s the TCHAK? Where’s the k-chit?

Does the new connector make an even more “fan-tas-tic!” sound? NO! The new USB-C connector just plugs in, and that’s it! The least Apple could do is make a k-chit sound come out of the speakers at an appropriate moment, and in fact I would not be surprised if that was indeed the case. After all, we live in a world where even electric cars must make noise to fill the noise pollution quota to which we’ve all become accustomed. And speaking of fake car noises, the 2015 Ford Mustang has a 4-cylinder engine, yet tries hard to sound like a V8.

Getting back to the Apple Watch, I’m afraid a “fan-tas-tic!” k-chit may not be quite enough to persuade me to part with my dearly beloved money, especially since I don’t have an iPhone and therefore would need to get one of those as well. Of course, this may all change once I get to experience the k-chit in the wild. Maybe I, too, will join the millions of people whose life will be made complete by k-chit. Complete, that is, until next year’s fantastic model. And an even more fan-tas-tic k-chit.