I’ve been thinking for a while about the number of technologies that get announced, don’t really do anything, then die rather quickly. It’s just over a month before I head over to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress and I’m expecting to hear about a lot of new things that are destined for a quick entry to the “electronic afterlife” of Silicon Heaven. For those of you who don’t know what Silicon Heaven is, I’ll let the web explain:
From Red Dwarf “The Last Day”, Season 3, Episode 6:
Lister: How can you just lie back and accept it?
Kryten: Oh, it’s not the end for me, sir, it’s just the beginning. I have served my human masters, now I can look forward to my reward in silicon heaven.
Lister: [Stunned pause] Silicon WHAT?
Kryten: Surely you’ve heard of silicon heaven?
Lister: Has it got anything to do with being stuck opposite Brigitte Nielsen in a packed lift?
Kryten: No, sir. It’s the electronic afterlife. It’s the gathering place for the souls of all electronic equipment. Robots, toasters, calculators. It’s our final resting place.
Lister: I don’t mean to say anything out of place here, Kryten, but that is completely whacko Jacko. There is no such thing as ‘Silicon Heaven’.
Kryten: Then where do all the calculators go?
Lister: They don’t go anywhere. They just die.
Kryten: Surely you believe that God is in all things? Aren’t you a pantheist?
Lister: Yeah, but I just don’t think it applies to kitchen utensils. I’m not a FRYING pantheist. Machines do not have souls. Computers and calculators do not have an afterlife. You don’t get hairdryers with tiny little wings, sitting on clouds and playing harps.
Kryten: But of course you do. For is it not written in the Electronic Bible, “The Iron shall lie down with the Lamp”.
So what mobile technologies do you think should qualify for the past year? Who is most worthy (if that’s the word!) of the Silicon Heaven prize? Answers in the comments please! I’ll let you know my own thoughts very soon.
For me it was Apple Maps. Designed to replace the Google Maps application on Apple's own devices, it suffered a barrage of complaints from users after the launch of the iPhone 5. Farms labelled as airports, the town of Luton being placed 200 miles away in Devon, cloudy satellite images, no equivalent of Google’s Street View feature and an overall lack of detail. The general consensus was that it was a step back and Apple eventually allowed users to re-install Google Maps for free.
So Apple Maps is in Silicon Heaven (or clinging on). The Panasonic Eluga is another – the waterproof smartphone lasted just a few months before Panasonic Mobile decided to pull out of Europe (again). Also in 2012, Microsoft officially killed the Zune.