More Pictures

The display still has its demo plastic film

Back side

same 3 KB memory electronic card as the Noname organizer

This Barbie organizer is made of 4 parts + the stylus pen

The blister pack

User manual

More Info

From Barbie to the iPhone

Steve Litchfield muses on the continuing struggle for the mobile industry, balancing ever-increasing functionality against ease of use.

The near simultaneous announcement of the Apple iPhone and my 7 year old daughter's misplaced acquisition of a 'Barbie Touchman' organizer, both absolute extremes on the 'Ease of use' scale, got me thinking.... Where would all the other iconic mobile devices from the last ten or so years fit into a 'Functionality vs Ease of Use' chart?

The Barbie Touchman first: it's an utterly horrible, cheaply made pink thing with typical low end text-based organizer functionality. And it's interface is so appalling that after an hour each with the manual neither my wife nor I could even work out how to change the time. Really.