Coming to a Dump Near You

Here’s a sign of the times: a blog called Fast Company that covers a little bit of everything, joking about what’s passing now as “HD.” In this post, called “More Must Be Better: High Definition Invades a Product Near You,” Laurel Sutton comments that the terminology is being applied to everything including paint now. And, as in HD radio, it doesn’t mean High Definition, though the swag claims it does everything but take out the garbage:

I first heard the term “digital wonderland” on an episode of Harry Shearer’s Le Show, in reference to the move from analog-anything to digital-everything. This was also where I learned about HD Radio, which seemed non-sensical — after all, radio waves don’t have pixels to increase, or images to resolve. But guess what? Turns out the “HD” in HD radio doesn’t stand for “high definition” at all! HD Radio, which originally stood for “Hybrid Digital,” is the trademark for iBiquity’s in-band on-channel (IBOC) digital radio technology used by AM and FM radio stations to transmit audio and data via a digital signal in conjunction with their analog signals. According to iBiquity’s website, the “HD” is simply a brand name and has no meaning. It brings you “dramatically higher quality audio, far more programming choice and compelling new wireless data services brought to you by your local AM and FM radio stations.”

No mention of garbage. But, as Laura notes, the Sultans of Swag would just as soon let you think it’ll bag it for you too:

Thing is, you have to dig pretty deep to figure out that HD Radio doesn’t actually mean “high definition” radio. iBiquity must be quite happy to let people labor under this misapprehension, despite the fact that “high definition radio” is a completely meaningless phrase. But hey, it sure sounds good, doesn’t it, all techy and futuristic? If it’s HD, it must be better!

Just as “sensical” are these examples she cites:

  • HD Vision Sunglasses — “let you see with enhanced color and clarity just like high definintion TVs” except they aren’t TVs and don’t have high definition
  • High Definition Dentistry, a trademark of Robert Gerber DDS — “the ultimate fusion of the art and science of dentistry with high technology” because you need more pixels in your smile! Science! (This dentist is in LA, no surprise)
  • Jolt High Definition Knit Pants — jeggings that make you appear in a 16:9 aspect ratio; these pants are for juniors because no grown woman would want every bit of flesh defined so clearly
  • AutoGlym High Definition Car Wax — “imparts a lustre and depth of shine normally only found on the most expensive hand built cars” and presumably makes your car appear in better focus from a distance

These are only available, of course, as part of the Bogus Package in your better high-end automobiles. Which you can probably use to take out your High Definition garbage.


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