On the Joggler.
I’ve been meaning to write about the O2 Joggler for a while now, as when i first saw the TV ad it made me stop what i was doing and pay attention. The ad was not particularly clever or witty or exciting but it was intriguing. Clearly an O2 advert (Sean Bean’s dulcet tones, etc) but it no mention of minutes, texts, treats or sims, rather some magical family organiser – and hardware at that. I had to learn more about this device.
O2’s product page was able to confirm my suspicions that the thing was more than a glorified calendar (it can show photos, play music and videos, provide news, weather and traffic updates, etc) but it left me asking more questions than it answered. There was no (and still is no) detail. No detail. How am i to get excited about something without detail? Alas, i had to resort to trawling the web where i was able to find a few previews and a couple of “hands-on” accounts. And that’s when my dreams were shattered.
I had hoped that the Joggler might be the answer to my techie-household-prayers – a digital-photo-frame-esque computer that i could have sat in the kitchen/lounge/bedroom and just pick-up whenever i wanted to quickly check the web. A low-power, always-on device that’d save turning on the proper computer when you’re in a rush or the query isn’t urgent enough to warrant getting off your fat arse. But it’s not to be. It appears that O2 have placed so many limitations on the device that it’s almost pointless…
You can check the news – as long as you like your news to be the latest 10 headlines from Sky News.
You can check the weather – as long as you like Sky News Weather forecasts.
You can check for traffic problems – as long as you like to know about traffic issues from across the nation, rather than those that might affect your actual journey.
You can connect to your computer for multimedia – as long as you’re not using a Mac or Linux.
You can play music from your library – as long as that isn’t an iTunes library.
You can get SMS reminders of events in the calendar sent to your phone – but you can’t create or edit events via SMS from your phone. Only via the web or on the Joggler directly.
The silliness of these limitations is further exasperated when you discover that the Joggler is just a re-badged OpenFrame. That being a device which can do the things you want. Like choose the source or sources for news feeds, and a million other things.
Yep, O2 could’ve had a money-spinner here but sadly they’ve restricted their sales by restricting their product. I’m afraid the money-spinning will belong to the first company who releases an OpenFrame-based product that allows the user some customisability. Just pray that company isn’t first waiting to see how well the Joggler does.
El Reg’s review of the Joggler can be seen here. It highlights many of the same problems that i have – but remains a reasonably positive review despite them. Perhaps i’m just a grumpy bastard then?
PS. Where does the name Joggler come from? My guess is that the marketing genii at O2 have combined “juggle ” and “jogger”. As-in, it helps you juggle family life and it’s a memory-jogger. What do you reckon?
Update: Just discovered hackthejoggler.com which was offering a £1000 bounty to anyone able to circumvent O2’s restrictions. And it looks like someone has. I look forward to seeing how this progresses…