Last week I got an email from Six Apart and this is exactly what is said:
Jessica, we know you’re going to say no, so we’re going to beg and plead with you. Will you please pretty please review the Peek Pronto Mobile Messaging Device for us on October 30th. In return you will get to keep the Peek.*
And my exact response was:
No, that is stupid.**
But then they said:
But Jessica, we love you best.
So I asked them to overnight it, and that is honest to goodness how the entire conversation went and even if you have your sister working at Six Apart I need you to know they love me best.
When the package came the kids and I tried to open the Peek. There is one glaring issue. Packaging. Although the clamshell is supposed to be easy to open, it is not. I had to hack away at it with scissors and even then I was twisting and pulling. My assumption (I may be wrong) is that Peek is geared towards seniors. Trust me, if you’re giving this to Gran this X-Mas, do it in person so that you’re there to help with the packaging.
Everything else about it was intuitive. I set up email accounts with ease from both gmail and Yahoo. I had the kids try too, my 8 year old and my 11 year old were both very comfortable with it, no instructions necessary. All three of us had the same question though:
Who would want this? Why not just get an iPhone?
There are obvious benefits to the Peek as the parent of a tween. With a one time charge there are no surprise phone bills. This is good. Since it’s mostly email (I didn’t try the text feature) you can easily monitor your child’s activities. My children know I read their emails, that bit of parenting is a personal decision, one I feel good about. The battery is amazing, I charged it up once and it lasted more than four days. Four days!
If you have someone in your family who is nervous around new technology I do think Peek Pronto is a great solution. It’s like a blackberry with training wheels. The QWERTY keypad is comfortable and the buttons are spaced out a little further than I’ve seen on other mobile devices.
Still, this is a $300 item. At this pricepoint I’d really like it to be stunning.
Here’s where the Peek Pronto goes from meh to Oh My. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who would really make use of this. Who needs access to email but is somehow separated from it? Then I remembered someone who has to wait in line to get 45 minutes of computer use at the public library.
I know that the Peek Pronto won’t give Ann Marie a roof over her head, but it will help her communicate with friends, family and agencies without any cost to her and without taking up any of her precious moments at the library. While writing this I am waiting for Ann’s address, she has sporadic internet access. This will change. Now.
Sometimes we look at the world through our very privileged eyes, and we forget that every connection in every small way matters. My hope is that the Peek Pronto gives Ann Marie a little more access than she had last week, and I realize that though it’s not the perfect gift for my (very techy) home, but for someone it just might be perfect.
It seems likely to me that this is a gift that will be given from someone incredibly connected to someone wishing to connect. I also noticed that Peek has it’s own communities and appears to be expanding. It’s a surprising tool, and I think it’s wonderful for the right person.
*I am not a journalist. This might have been the conversation I wish we had.
** This is an exact quote