How Samsung Can Recover From Their Exploding Phone Fiasco
If you're up to date on the latest exploding gadget news, you've probably heard by now that tech giant Samsung has issued a recall of their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, due to the fact that they're prone to suddenly erupting. The much-anticipated devices, which many people were relying on for all their pocket-computing needs (porn while shitting), were instead setting their pockets on fire, causing some pretty serious burns in the process. Samsung is expected to eat about $5.3 billion by the time the literal smoke has cleared on this disaster.
But where they see failure, a guy like me sees opportunity. Look, we know these things no longer function as practical smart devices, what with the constant exploding and all. But now that we're aware of what they are capable of, why wouldn't Samsung avoid the environmental disaster that comes with trying to safely dispose of 28 shipping containers' worth of hazardous materials, and instead repurpose these devices in an effort to save face? I'm no fancy-pants marketing executive, but off the top of my head, I think it would behoove Samsung to consider the following ...
Using The Phones As Kindling
Do you know who loves things that catch on fire? People who need to start fires. For example, when the sun sets after a long day of drinking and camping, who the hell has time to wait for a fire to spark up when you want to roast hot dogs right goddamn now? For the longest time, Duraflame fire logs have been some of the most popular fire starters around, and people trust them to get the job done. But the one thing that has held Duraflame back is the lack of a horrible, dramatic detonation to maximize their burning efforts.
The way I see it, if the Galaxy Note 7's are exploding with almost no user interaction at all, imagine what would happen if you laid one of those suckers in a fire pit and threw a couple of matches at it. In addition to a satisfying burst of flame that wouldn't have you on the fast track to the burn ward, the scorched debris would catch the surrounding logs immediately. This would cut down on the time and newspaper needed to start a roaring fire, while giving you more time to enjoy the great outdoors with your baffled friends and loved ones. If Samsung were to package four to six of these bad boys in a fireproof box and give them a price tag of around $1,200, I can all but guarantee they would make their production costs back eventually. And we'd finally take down the monopoly big Duraflame has on the market.
If the box doesn't explode first, that is.
Buffet Food Warmers
While we're on the subject of tired-ass products in desperate need of improvement, can we talk about buffet food warmers? If you've ever been to any party that takes place in someone's back yard, you've seen those little warmers that sit underneath disposable aluminum trays filled with baked ziti and chicken marsala. The heat cans, called Sterno, have been around for over 100 years, and haven't had any kind of upgrade in that time.
More like "bland heat," am I right?
Sterno's staying power mostly comes from how simple it is to use. But let me ask you this: Can you watch Netflix on a can of Sterno? The answer, for those of you still pondering, is no. Believe me, I've tried, and the Sterno's selection of award-winning documentaries is really, really lacking.
Imagine this scenario: You're waiting in line at a buffet, bored as hell and hungry to boot. What if, instead of staring at a boring little flame on your way down the line, you're distracted by a flame that's surrounded by some of the best streaming content available on the web? That's a scenario that only works if Samsung sells their phones as an alternative to Sterno cans. With this method, you would simply place a Galaxy Note 7 under your tray of green beans, fire up Netflix, and start streaming episodes of Friends while the burning phone heats up your dinner.
Could this be any more practical?
Using a Note 7 to heat up food instead of burning an eight-inch hole in your leg is a no-brainer. Sure, there are some concerns about burning plastic in an enclosed area, but the alternative is that these phones sit somewhere in a landfill, fucking up the environment for eons to come. Are your precious lungs more important than the environment, crybaby? Tell your widdle feelings to buck up and get ready to enjoy a helping of sweet potato casserole, brought to you by a smoldering season of Making A Murderer.
Fine. How About Ice Fishing?
Okay, maybe there are better ways to heat a meal than by setting it on top of a 4G Molotov cocktail. But I have a surefire idea that has probably no downsides to it. To properly make my point, though, I'll need you to watch this bullshit first.
At about a minute into the video, the presenter starts chipping away at the ice to make a hole so he can go fishing. That is inefficiency of the highest caliber. But what other option is there? If you're crazy enough, you can be like these Norwegians and blow a hole in the ice with dynamite, but that comes with a whole list of issues. First off, the law says you can't go out and just buy dynamite. Second, the explosion that comes along with a typical stick of dynamite is massive overkill for what we're trying to accomplish. However, since just about anyone is allowed to own a smartphone, the proposal here is a simple one.
If you have a hammer and a can-do attitude, congratulations! You're now the most efficient ice fisherman in the game. Seafood is a multi-billion-dollar industry, both in the U.S. and around the world. Imagine how much more effective business would be if we weren't wasting god knows how much time chopping into the ice with a fucking stick? Using these recalled phones to make holes for ice fishing isn't just killing two birds with one stone; it's an economic obligation, as far as I'm concerned.
And I'm just getting started here. We've yet to discuss the most obvious application of Samsung's failure.
Use Them As Bombs
Let's face it: Our world is in trouble. We've got coup attempts in Turkey, North Korea throwing threats around every couple of weeks, and the recent unrest in the U.S. Unrest which seems to indicate that another World War is right around the corner. At this rate, the dangers appear to be rising faster than we can create the weapons needed to protect ourselves from them. With that in mind, why don't we use Samsung's massive recall to our advantage by repurposing these dangerous explosives as intentional weapons?
The applications are endless when you're dealing with volatile handheld devices like the Note 7. For example, video game modder HitmanNiko edited the grenades in Grand Theft Auto V, reskinning them as Note 7's with hilarious, thought-provoking results.
Oh wait, this isn't from the game. This is actual footage of the Note 7 in action.
While it's funny to behold, I got to thinking "Why the hell not?" It already doesn't take much to set the Note 7 off into a blazing inferno. So throwing these things at our enemies on the battlefield would work about as well as any grenade. And your typical grenade can't store over 50,000 songs. It's only with the Note 7 grenades that you can blast Kenny Loggins' Danger Zone at full volume while blowing your adversaries to smithereens. If that's not a selling point for you, how about this: Remember the Ninja Turtles Pizza Thrower toy?
The 90's were so clutch.
The military could modify the pizza thrower concept to fit a Note 7. Imagine marching into the fray with a gun that launches the phone TechRadar named "Samsung's best phone to date," and the device which Cracked.com named "Ahhhhh! My fucking hand!" You would be unstoppable! I've put together a little representation of how that might work.
As you can see, this is both resourceful and lethal, which is exactly what you want when you're battling the likes of ISIS or the Foot Clan. Also, allow me to sweeten the pot on this one a little bit. If you'll recall, exploding phones weren't the only big story about electronics blowing up this year. Remember how all those hoverboards caught fire and the douchebags who ride them through the mall had to stop using them? You know where I'm going with this.
Galaxy Note 7 + Hoverboard = mobile death unit.
Imagine the pants-shitting that would happen if you saw one of those things rolling toward you at whatever speed those dumb toys can go. The only issue I can see with this option is that Samsung might not be down with being harbingers of death. If that ends up being the case, I have one more ace up my sleeve.
Throw Them At Each Other For Sport
I've been mourning the death of the laser tag fad for many years now -- as we all have, really. Over the past few decades, the pew-pew industry has been crippled, and fewer and fewer laser tag arenas have managed to stay open. Aside from paintball, you can't really get that kind of enjoyment anymore unless it's in a video game. It's high time for a new kind of organized competitive elimination combat, says this casual observer. Picture, if you will, the Samsung Note Explosion Elimination Challenge!
Admittedly, the name needs work.
Since exploding all over people is what these phones are doing anyway, why not make a delightful game out of it? You could have two teams battle in an elimination match by chucking a handful of Note 7's at each other in a fireproof arena. Each team could be outfitted in a colored flame-retardant suit that would protect them from the explosions while making them look cool as fuck at the same time.
Picture the guy in the front using a prototype of that pizza shooter from earlier.
Just Photoshopping that image made me extremely depressed that something like this doesn't already exist. And the thing is, we have all the materials necessary to do this just sitting around a warehouse somewhere! If insurance companies are willing to look the other way and allow a zeitgeist like flaming phone fights to happen, I think we could really be onto something special here.
Don't let my dreams remain dreams.
I'm not saying this could be the next big thing; I'm saying this will be the next big goddamn thing. I know for a fact that Spike TV would be all over this idea, if SlamBall is any indication. And phone explosion fights have the one thing that kept SlamBall from replacing baseball as America's pastime: exploding cell phones.
In all seriousness, I legitimately hope Samsung does the right thing and disposes of these disaster phones in a considerate and environmentally safe way. Because if they don't, I'm digging up whatever landfill they throw them in and making everything on this list a reality. That's a promise.
Follow Erik Germ on Twitter if youse a true playa.
For more check out 5 Terrifying Smartphone Hacks You Won't Believe Are Possible and 7 Ways Your Cellphone Is Screwing With Your Body and Mind.
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