Simon’s Backup Weblog

It’s the shininess that sells, not the features…

Posted in Uncategorized by Simon Bisson on August 19, 2005

Yesterday and I wandered along to one of the many Christmas events that occur at this time of year, when technology companies show off the gadgets that will hit the stores in time for Christmas purchases.

One of the exhibitors at this event was Belkin, demonstrating their new range of Pure AV cables and power supplies (yes, you will be able to get a UPS for your home media set up…). Part of their range was a conditioned power supply for home AV equipment – with a diagnostic display on the front.

All very useful, and nicely encased in brushed aluminium. However there was one sad thing we learnt. Apparently focus groups saw the PSU as having one killer feature. It wasn’t the fact that it would protect your expensive home cinema equipment from power surges, lightning strikes and power outages.


It was the fact that you could choose to illuminate the display with a range of different LED colour effects.

I guess they might be right after all.

Never overestimate the general public.


7 Responses to 'It’s the shininess that sells, not the features…'

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  1. gikiski said,

    Looking at the specs, I couldn’t make out which one indicated the amount of time it could support the systems during a power outage. Is it actually the UPS or mainly the power conditioner? The price makes me think it is also a UPS.

    From the additional images (and “13 programmable outlets” in the text), it looks like you can define whether any outlet is switched or not by way of the interface. Nice!

  2. sbisson said,

    They offer a range of different devices…

  3. bibliofile said,

    This may be the new killer feature of the year for anything with electronic displays, then: On a recent show of new kitchen stuff, much was made of the same feature for the controls for double ovens. The other innovations? Being able to flip the control panel out of sight, and then waking the panel by brushing it with your hand. Hah! I bet the UPS didn’t have that.

  4. moral_vacuum said,

    It looks almsot identical to the HomeChoice Broadband Set Top Box.

  5. megadog said,

    The history of Belkin – and their propensity to engineer spamming-services into their products – has meant that [in the spirit of the Boulder Pledge] I have taken an Oath and will never buy anything made by them in future.

    Once bitten, twice shy. Lick my butt, spammers!

  6. beamjockey said,

    I think it is a neat feature. I love bright colors and blinkenlights displays.

    When I needed a Firewire enclosure, I sprang for the one that had a coruscating (and totally useless) multicolor LED display, for slightly more money.

    And I trust my geek credentials don’t need any defending.

  7. stillcarl said,

    Okay, go (here: ) and you’ll understand the public’s POV a bit better. Both technologies are designed to protect the public, right? So essentially they do the same job, right? But it’s not a particularly interesting job, hence the public won’t be interested unless there’s a bit of flash to make them interested.

    Never underestimate how boring technology is to the general public…

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