Speak-N-Spell pinnacle of technology for this dad
Lord knows what the future holds when it comes to predicting technology.
Heck, we're barely three years from the events of Back to the Future II, and we have made no progress in hoverboard technology. Also, Miami seems far from winning a World Series and dust is still rampant, so there were plenty of misfires in that movie. But I digress.
When I was 4 years old, my technology of choice was a Speak-N-Spell. The Texas Instrument toy was a marvel in advanced voice recognition technology, especially for 1983. I could spell words then that I can't now.
But that was approximately 75 years ago. Times change. Now my year-old sons have toys more advanced than that Speak-n-Spell. And my 4-year-old has sworn off toys.
We have such a collection for her of dolls, blocks, interactive learning toys, you name it. It's enough toys to make me jealous that I didn't have a collection like that when I was her age. But she's not interested.
She has an iPhone, and that's all she's interested in.
Well, it's not much of an iPhone. It's my wife's old iPhone that stopped working; the volume in the earpiece got muted and would not un-mute. So they just gave her a new one. Leaving us with an iPhone without the “Phone” part. If only they had a name for those.
Now Kiki, from the time she was two, knew how to work any smartphone in our house, and especially the iPhone. So we gave it to her.
I would say it became her favorite toy, but that's inaccurate for two reasons. One, it was her favorite toy before it was hers. And two, she still prefers either my Droid or my wife's new iPhone.
Very quickly, Kiki figured out that she couldn't get Netflix anymore on her new phone. But she figured out Mommy and Daddy still had it on theirs.
But she still loves her iPhone. It has all the games she loves. And it keeps her from playing with the mini Toys-R-Us accumulated in our house. Which that's fine, more for her brothers.
But it always makes me think of my Speak-N-Spell, as well as the other things that passed for technology growing up. When I was slightly older, my parents used a Walkman to keep my sisters in check in a restaurant — music didn't work with me. So they are perplexed at why we don't have an MP3 player for Kiki. Let that one rattle around for a minute.
The fact is, who would be calmed just by music when they have the full sensory experience that an iPhone provides, especially a 4-year-old. And she DOES have music on her phone, since it is essentially an iPod, but she's still not interested. My parents went so far as to buy her a cheap-o MP3 player over protestations, and it goes unused.
They're certainly not helping any stereotypes when it comes to, ahem, people of advanced age and technology. They just don't get the latest advances, and don't realize how much things progress.
We all know the pinnacle of technological advancement — the Speak-N-Spell.