I want to be a minority!

A new product called U-Tag was brought to my attention recently, the premise is that it is a USB key that is worn as a dog tag and contains all of your emergency contact/medical information. It was designed for use by motorcyclists, or donors as they’re known in A&E (thanks Neil), but I thought that it would be a good alternative to my own stainless steel MedicAlert dog tag (worn to inform people of my serious allergy to certain medicines). I also thought that it would be a good idea for my Dad, who has had a heart attack and a stroke, and has a list of pills as long as the Nile (which would be very important for anyone treating him to have).

I visited the website and all looked good, until I discovered that they only support Windows users. [Insert joke about Windows users being most likely to crash here]. I emailed them to enquire about this completely uneccessary limitation:

I saw your product and thought it was a great idea. I currently wear a stainless steel dog tag which lists my allergies and other information, but currently would require someone to use the telephone number on it to contact Medic Alert to find out details of my medications etc. I also think it would be a good idea for my Dad, who has suffered a heart attack and stroke and has a long list of medication.

Why then do you only offer support for Windows users? I own a Mac, as do all of my friends. I also have access to a Linux machine, but no Windows boxes. I am a software engineer, and cannot see why you cannot display the data in html format, so that anyone can view it. You could easily have three different applications (one for each OS) for editing the data. Maybe I am missing something?

Their response:

Thank you for your question. The software is in Windows format because this is the most common operating system. It is extensively used throughout the emergency services and medical professions.

Yes, we could have gone straight to a HTML editor and produced a HTML file for all to read. After investigation, the security was not at a high enough level cross platform. Hence only going to windows. The software runs in windows directly from the USB device with no installation. We are currently recommending MAC users enter there details on a PC either a friends, a local library or internet cafe. The process is quick and intuitive.

I hope that answers your question, we are most defiantly not anti MAC far from it. All out design work was created using them. It was shear weight of numbers.

I decided that this was unacceptable, so I emailed them again:

Thank you for your response, it does explain things somewhat. However, I find it hard to believe that you can site security as the reason for not using HTML and then recommened entering personal medical information at an internet cafe or library. This is in addition to the fact that Windows (pick any version) is far from a secure operating system itself.

Anyway, thank you again for your response, maybe you can let me know when you become Mac friendly.



P.S. Mac and not MAC, that mistake is guaranteed to upset any Apple fanboy, like me!

So I guess that makes me a discriminated against minority! Cool!

Update: One of the lead developers for this product took the time to email me personally, from a cramped bus in the Middle East, to inform me that they are in fact working on a Mac version of this product!

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