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March 3 2008

Handy Switch

Handy SwitchWho buys this… er… “stuff”? Obviously someone buys it, I just want to know who!

The Handy Switch is the latest offering from my favorite huckster, Billy Mays. The idea is you plug the receiver into the wall socket, plug the lamp into the receiver, and when you throw the switch, the light goes on from up to 60 feet away.

Okay, not a bad idea, but someone got the bright idea to make the switch look like a normal sized wall switch. The theory is you can use the adhesive to stick it to the wall and no one will know the difference. Well, the problem is that in the TV ad you can clearly sticks out from the wall a good inch or more. They try not to focus the camera on it, but you catch it.

The part that kills me is seeing the people walk around holding the huge thing in their hand, smiling as they happily throw the switch while standing 2 feet away from the lamp. You know it would be impossible to lean over and turn it on! I especially love the woman in the TV ad that uses it to turn off the lamp on her nightstand. She’s stuck the stupid thing to the TOP of her nightstand and uses it to turn off the lamp… RIGHT NEXT TO IT!

If you like this thing, fine, more power to you, but seriously, who watches TV late at night and goes, “I have to have the fake light switch!” Ugh.



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  • Roy

    I can think of a few reasons why I would buy this.

    1) I have a couple lamps that have those terrible dial switches located in the middle of the cord. It means that I cannot hide the cable because then I couldn’t reach the switch. Also, these switches are hard to turn off and on when you’re half asleep.

    2) I have a couple of small lamps in the far side of my bedroom for creating “mood” If I want to turn them on/off during sex I have to get up and go over there. Ruins the whole situation. A switch within arms length would be very handy indeed.

    3) I would like to put some lamps under my couch or behind my TV for some “club” like lighting but then the switch has to be under or behind the couch/tv.

    So you see, this idea ain’t so bad. Of course it doesn’t have to be the shape of a switch though. I small remote would be fine.

    • Todd

      Dude- You are crazy if you are putting lamps under your couch. Have you ever heard of a fire hazard? Please let your neighbors know that you are doing this so that they can move out of your apartment building.

  • Roy – all three points you brought up are valid, and quite different than the reasons they showed in the commercial. But, as you also agreed, that switch is just freakin’ stupid.

    (I imagine somewhere in Akihabara, maybe the radio buidling stalls, you could find something that will do the same job)

  • Roy

    I guess you haven’t visited the Radio Kaikan recently. It’s all full of anime figure shops. Seriously..

  • Roy – Nope, haven’t been there since August of 2004. That’s just sad.

  • Roy

    Yeah, Akiba has been otakufied in the last 2 years or so and even worse turned into a tourist spot promoting otaku culture. It’s so superficial now, like normal shops TRYING hard to be otaku. It’s pathetic really and I can’t wait for Akiba to morph itself again. As I’ve discussed with you before, I think there’s no current younger otaku generation population to fills the shoes of the rapidly aging one and you know that they are not going to breed. So eventually that business will die out and something else will replace it.

    My prediction is that in the next 10 years or so there will some new virtual drug-sex-escapism type of entertainment-lifestyle shift. Kind of like Second-Life or the Matrix except more realistic, but virtual. And it will cause people to lose interest in real life cause the virtual one is more appealing. And all this will centre in Akiba which will turn into a kind of Cyber-Orgyfest-Ghetto. It’s already leaning that way somewhat because Anime has shifted from being a main stream entertainment to become extremely niche. And there’s a ton of hentai manga and bishojo dvds out there which are turning anime into a virtual sex life for many guys. It’s just a matter of time for this to evolve into it’s next shape. You can quote me on that when it becomes real. Just wait and see.

  • Papaplace

    what if the appartment next door has the same one? will he turn your lite off/on?

  • Papaplace

    what if the appartment next door has the same one? will he turn your lite off/on?

  • Steve

    We purchased the handy switch for my wife’s aunt, who has some mobility problems. The first time her lamp blew a light bulb the switch became inoperable.

  • People such as your aunt are exactly who should use it, but the commercial is so ultimately silly, you’re not sure who it’s for. Too bad it blew though, that is unfortunate.

  • Jay

    I found the reciever part of one of these in a dumpster… and for that price it’s an excellent night-light. That being said, yeah, I wonder if commercials suffer the same manufacturing flaws as all of these cheap electronic gizmos: cut corners, hack planning / rehashing, so vanilla it’s nauseating. I imagine that the commercials might all be identical except different products are photoshopped in and a new voice track is recorded….

    Props to the people who actually find uses for these things!

  • Mary Jane

    I utterly hate these switches "DON'T PURCHASE THEM" first of all whenever a bulb blows out they become JUNK.. and JUNK meaning they simply don't work anymore.. I have went through 3 switches all because of a lamp blew a bulb..

  • The Treesloth

    If you have a Phillips screwdriver and handy with a soldering iron, you can replace the fuse on the receiver's circuit board.

  • Johnny in East Cobb

    The Threesloth gave some good advice. I opened it up and found the fuse, so I will try to replace it tomorrow. Shouldn't be too bad, if that's all it is.