Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The i's have it

There's a new product called the iPanties modelled on the start-up window of an iPhone.

Ah, if only it was that easy!

This got me to thinking on the i-prefix. Although its most commonly associated with Apple products (iMac, iTunes, iLife, iPod, etc), it has been co-opted by other companies (iGoogle, iPlayer) and there's even a TV series called iCarly so clearly Apple doesn't have a patent and hence a monopoly on its usage. In a 2002 article, an Apple spokesman stated that it stood for "internet". The reason Apple is unable to restrict the usage is that the practice predates their own first use of it and is probably in the public domain. From my own field of expertise I can cite one example dating from 1992 where the inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase gene was dubbed iNOS (to distinguish it from the constitutive NOS gene). A later example was the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) in 2006.

Unfortunately (or should that be fortunately?), as the name has already been taken, we won't be seeing high-tech sanitary napkins called iPad's in the stores anytime soon.

As they say, panties may not be the best thing in the world but its next to the best thing ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment