The top secret letter — addressed to a man named Tim from a man named Phil — details research on “the SmartCross Project,” which is dedicated to determining the “product-market fit of the iCross,” a crucifix-like object with an embedded interactive digital screen.
According to the memo, 79% of survey respondents thought the iCross had “very, strong gift potential.”
Researchers also found there was “zero rival activity in the SmartCross space,” and that the markup on necklace chains was “staggering and could lift stock valuation into the heavens.”
The stunning memo also details plans for the launch of two device-specific apps and websites called con.fess.ly and pray.ly, which will send users weekly reminders to go to church.
The memo, which contained a photo of an iCross prototype, does raise a few notes of caution.
“A significant number (42%) of respondents were not comfortable with the voice emanating from the iCross,” notes Phil, adding that comments included: “WTF!” “Jesus Christ!” and “Siriously?”
“The company may want to rethink her role in the device,” says Phil in the memo.
Ten percent of the respondents found the embedded screens tacky and sacrilegious. Phil downplayed this finding, however, calling them “outliers, right?”
User testing found there was concern over whether the iCross is a devotional or general usage device. While many self-described “religious” respondents expressed joy at the prospect of using their iCross to download sermons, text with bible study buddies, watch The Greatest Story Ever Told and Left Behind, and even listen to Christian rock by Stryper, half of those users voiced concern about how the average user would interact with the iCross.
One respondent asked: “Are people going to violate this symbol of God’s love and sacrifice by watching South Park and reading Paul Krugman on this device?”
The memo sent shock waves through the tech world.
“This raises the bar in the under-served digital religious space, which has been painfully ignored in the onslaught of totally over-hyped Internet of Things products,” said tech industry analyst T. Danforth Gupta. “I’m sure we’ll see a flood of tremendously capitalized SmartCross knockoffs and spinoffs, such as the iChai and iOm.”
The memo — which was found in an envelope balanced on the hand dryer in the men’s restroom of a Cupertino, CA bar — goes on to say the company is “exploring launch events at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City and Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Virginia.”
And then author signs off: “Fingers iCrossed, Phil.”