It was bound to happen sooner or later.
That is, private sector companies marketing the latest tablets to consumers based on their sex — it could be a money maker, never know?
World’s First Tablet for Women
According to Mashable:
“Don’t worry, ladies. There’s finally an easy-to-use tablet just for us. It’s called the ePad Femme, and the Middle East–based Eurostar Group, who developed the product, are describing it as the “world’s first tablet made exclusively for women.”
Well, I don’t recall most Middle East countries being bastions of gender equality. Thus what’s the catch here?
“Eman Al Nafjan, a Saudi feminist blogger, feels that this is just another way to give women information targeted at pleasing their husbands,” reports Mashable.
“She explained that many women are tech-savvy, and in countries like Saudi Arabia, women spend a lot of time online since they are not allowed to drive or travel without a male relative.”
Perhaps it should come as no surprise that tech manufacturers are micro-targeting tablets to niche markets. The question is, will it work?
So far, the ePad Femme has recevied lackluster reviews. But this is probably just the start of micro-targeting tablets to conform to specific communities, hobbies and interests.
I’ll bet a tablet micro-targeted to male sports fans, for example, might be popular. Then there could be subgroup tablets for a specific sport, teams, leagues, etc. — all with the best apps right there waiting for you.
More Gov Apps
Can government IT offices learn from this? They already have.
Many agencies have been developing and issuing specific apps geared toward mission-based work and stakeholders. In fact, HUD recently came out with a fair housing app — the first of its kind.
This trend should continue as Uncle Sam focuses more on leveraging IT to enhance communication and citizen engagement by government at all levels. Plus, the tech-savvy public would likely welcome more free apps by government, especially if the apps make the lives of citizens easier.
Leveraging the latest digital and mobile technology to better connect citizens directly to government is likely the best “make-over” Uncle Sam can make.
Agencies should solicit public suggestions about how gov can best serve the public via apps and social media. Message: help us…help you!
Who doesn’t want better, faster, cheaper and smarter government based on the latest digital and mobile technology?
This is the 21st century “Information Age” after all.
Also check out:
[email protected]: An Infographic & Questions
* Note: All views an opinions expressed herein are those of the author only.
More media reviews of the ePad Femme via a Google News search.
What do you think GovLoopers?
A few thoughts… the name makes it sound like some sort of weird digital feminine care product. I hate products targeted toward specific groups, particularly based on gender, because they feed into stereotypes about men and women. And this product is no different, with apps for things like shopping, clothing size comparisons and the “women’s assistant” with a scale and tape measure. Sure they might be helpful, but their inclusion is based on the idea that women are a homogenous group who enjoy those things. I’m not buying it.
Thanks very much for your insightful comments and awesome feedback, Amy — with which I definitely agree.
This also strikes me as absolutely sexist and shallow, to say the least. This ePad Femme can be viewed as a “poster child” of how NOT to market new mobile technology. No wonder why its sales have been lackluster.
However, I do think that government generally needs more creative ways to enhance citizen engagement and mission-based activity using digital/mobile technology. For example, the new app by HUD I mentioned is a good example for how to engage the public and stakeholders about fair housing. I know many other agencies are issuing many other successful apps which should serve as models for good gov.
I think that whatever gov can do via mobile tech — be it apps or otherwise — to make citizen engagement easier and more productive is a win-win. This e-Pad Femme is a good case study of what NOT to do, as it is highly offensive and sexist.
Thanks again for your awesome insights, Amy, which are always most appreciated!
Yes I agree that government definitely needs to be more creative in engaging with citizens, but as you said, this is not the way to go.