Magpie Syndrome

magpie.jpg  I thought the crime figures yesterday made for interesting reading, specifically the fact that ‘muggings’ were on the rise – up some 8%. The Home Office put this rise in robbery down to the increasing number of gadgets people are carrying. Mugging is less about hard cash these days and more about the MP3 player, mobile phone, digital camera, PDA, laptop etc that you are carrying.  This seems to me to be a case of Magpie Syndrome, shiny things equate to expensive things that attract the eye of the robber. I can remember reading stories a few years ago during the height of the iPod boom era when to have ‘white’ ear phones were deemed a fashion accessory and also equated to carrying a large neon side above your head saying look at me I have an iPod i.e. making it very easy for would be robbers to identify targets.  Today it’s no different – it seems Gadgets, technology and fashion are as closely linked as ever and the ‘shine’ factor is an important one when buying a product – side by side most people would go for a shinier and better looking product over a better performing but ugly product. Looks count, sex sells. However robbers are just like consumers (or at least representative of the consumer market i.e. reacting to demand), the shinier the gadget the more attractive it will be to them and would be black market buyers. I doubt we will see any change to product styling or changes in consumer habit to avoid crime, crime will always exist when there are things to steal and there is demand for the products. So can the gadget market do things to improve security? Maybe…I’ve not seen any innovations in this space i.e. things that actually physically prevent things being stolen. As the police often point out its about keeping things out of siten, and the tell tale ‘wires’ and ‘shine’ of gadgets, which to some might be seen as fashionable are probably best hidden. Discrete wireless in-ear pieces, or cool technology such as bone conduction could be the answer…


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