Gadgets are purely utilitarian.
That's what so many nerds thought when they were inventing them.
Then along came the Upsetting of the Apple cart.
Suddenly, here were gadgets that inspired warm feelings and, with the perfectly assiduous Apple design, encouraged you to show them off.
Recently, gadget design has become a touch staid. That doesn't stop Apple from believing you should treat them as if they were a new pair of purple sequinned platform boots.
When AirPods came out, for example, Apple wanted you to share them with random strangers on the street.
And, with its latest iPad Pro ad, Cupertino wants you to show your confidence in your Pro and yourself by waving your gadget around.
Here we have an extremely cool iPad Pro user. Is there any other kind?
He's at his desk doing graphically important things. He has it plugged into an LG display. But cool people don't sit still. So he unplugs it, flicks up his Apple Pencil magnetically and waves it about in order to close it.
As an ineffably cool iPad Pro owner myself (or so I thought), I hadn't been aware that this was the cool way to show your iPad Professionalism.
Oh, but it doesn't stop there.
Our hero is walking down the street and has need of his Pencil again. Does he merely grab it? No, no.
He flicks it up and spins it around first. Because merely grabbing things is so déclassé,
In the subway, he doesn't merely open it. He waves it open, with an arm movement that wouldn't disgrace a matador.
And when he's on the plane -- did I mention he was casually hurtling toward the airport? -- he needs to offer a couple of Pro spins after his machine comes off the TSA conveyor belt.
Once on the plane, he's not one to mindlessly obey the "put away your computers" instruction from the flight attendant before takeoff.
Instead, a one-handed wave of his iPad Pro turns it into a really big Kindle -- with a Pencil -- and he carries on working.
But wait a minute, if Apple claims, as it often has, that the iPad Pro is a computer, shouldn't he have put it away?
This ad, of course, will surely set off a, um, wave of iPad Pro users practicing their one-handed maneuvering. (Our hero here favors the left-handed method.)
Not far behind will come the lawsuits. From people who claim they've been struck by someone's flailing iPad Pro keyboard while traveling, of course.