Customer Review: The Acme EZ-Jump Personal Teleportation Device

My drive to work is 32 miles each way and involves practically every freeway in the greater Los Angeles area. That wouldn’t be so bad if it lots of other people didn’t also drive on those freeways — but they do. I hate my commute, so when suggested I might be interested in the Acme EZ-Jump Personal Teleportation Device, I ordered it right away.

This bumper sticker is one of many available accessories.

It arrived three days later via UPS (which seems like an odd way to ship a teleportation device, but whatever). The box contained the base unit (a plexiglass booth approximately the size of a refrigerator) and an instruction manual. The manual is 47 pages long: 3 pages of legal disclaimers in tiny print, 1 page of technical specifications, 37 pages of safety warnings in large print, 2 pages of operating instructions, a 1-page list of authorized service centers, and 3 pages of ads for EZ-Jump accessories (my favorites are the “Honk if you didn’t see me on the road today because I teleported” t-shirt and the “My other car is a teleportation device” bumper sticker). I skipped over most of the tech specs and safety warnings, which in retrospect may have been a mistake.

In theory, the initial setup is pretty simple: just move the base unit to an out-of-the-way corner, plug it into the wall, download the EZ-Jump app to your phone, then register with their online service, MyEZJump. But the base unit is unwieldy and difficult to move, and it turns out that the app is only available for iPhones and for Android versions 4.0 and later. My phone runs Android 3.2.2 and doesn’t support 4.0 yet, but I was eventually able to find a compatible, unofficial, user-contributed version on the Android app market.

The EZ-Jump’s maximum range is 50 miles; you can only teleport within a 50-mile radius of your base unit. Once you’ve set up the device, you can use the phone app to teleport from anywhere (within range) to your base unit; you can also teleport from your base unit to locations (within range) that are registered with MyEzJump. You can use the phone app to find publicly registered locations, although at this point, there aren’t many of them. Most are repair centers (and, really, what are the odds that you’d need a repair and still be able to teleport to the repair center?), and there aren’t any within range of my house. Fortunately, you can also register your own locations.

My next step was to register my office as a location. I drove to work, hit the “register this location” button on the app, and then drove home at the end of the day. The next morning, I left the car at home and teleported to work. Easy-peasy. Or so I thought. When I tried to teleport home, nothing happened. It turns out that the initial trip had overloaded an electrical circuit, which cut power to both the EZ-Jump and to my Crock-pot, ruining the stew I’d left simmering for dinner that night.

I upgraded my home electrical wiring, and it’s been mostly smooth sailing since then. The biggest adjustment for me has been that I can’t really run errands “on the way home” any more. Well, that and the thing with my left hand — the retractable claws are cool, but if I had it all to do over again, I probably wouldn’t teleport on Bring Your Cat To Work Day.

35 thoughts on “Customer Review: The Acme EZ-Jump Personal Teleportation Device

  1. That’s a pretty cool device, Laura – 50 miles, 80 km, not a bad distance *not* to sit in the car twice a day.

    Pity you have to return to the base station between jumps, and that it can’t be programmed ‘on the fly’, so to speak. I hope they’re working on an upgrade to include that functionality.

    Oh, and the claws thing – well, at least they’re *retractable*, or you’d be catching them on your woollen jerseys and towels and stuff, and unravelling things accidentally, which wouldn’t be so much fun, though I’m sure you’d find a way to write a really smart blogpost about that…

    And, on the bright side, it’s your *left* hand, so you can still do normal hand-shakes with your boss or with important people you’re introduced to, if you need to, and you don’t have to move the mouse over to the wrong side of the keyboard (have you ever tried using the mouse with the left hand? Man, it’s uncoordinated!) to navigate the internet and such-like. So, pretty handy… er, sorry… that was tactless. ;-)

    I’m wondering whether they mentioned the possibility of something like this happening in the safety warnings?

    1. I looked, and it turns out they did mention it, but not until page 29. All the warnings before that were about things like being careful when lifting the base unit, not tipping it over, not climbing on top of it and jumping off, etc.

    1. He loves being able to open cans himself. That’s actually kind of a problem, because he still doesn’t know how to read, so he’ll open one can of cat food, decide he doesn’t like the flavor, open another one, and so on. We’re still trying to work it out.

  2. I saw the title and my first thought was
    What trouble is that poor coyote in now…

    I know what I’m getting my wife for her birthday now. She’s been looking for one of these for years!

    1. Just remember, if you try to travel along with her, you’ll wind up swapping random body parts — so don’t do that. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. I mean, it’s perfectly fine if you are. I don’t judge.

  3. I want a device that lets me teleport just my brain to work so that I can stay at home in my jammies drinking coffee and avoiding the annoyance of physical contact with humans I don’t care for a whole lot.

    TMI, I suppose.

  4. Hmm. I hope they are working on a more expansive range. In Wyoming a 32 mile commute only takes 28 minutes, so that’s hardly worth it. I would, however, like to zap myself to the other side of the state for Christmas and such. The weather is always during that four hour drive into six.

    1. The EZ-Jump Pro has a range of 100 miles, but it sounds like that probably wouldn’t be enough. They say they’re working on it, though — I think the main problem is the amount of power required for the longer jumps.

      Also, remember you can effectively double the range if the people you’re visiting have an EZ-Jump and you’ve registered a location about halfway there (because then you can jump from your home base unit to the midpoint and then from the midpoint to the destination base unit).

    1. Good question! So far the answer seems to be “there are no peak times” — partly because there aren’t many of these devices in use, but also because each jump is almost instantaneous.

  5. You never saw The Fly movie?!

    Other than that, though, it does sound like a great idea. As long as the big oil/car companies don’t know you have it.

  6. I loved this. If only you knew how many times I’ve complained, “I’m off to drive to work because no one has invented my teleportation device yet.” Seriously, it’s 2012. Someone needs to get on that.

    1. I know! If they can put a man on the moon, why can’t they put him there instantaneously? Especially if we’ve gotten to the point where “if they can put a man on the moon” sounds quaint and outdated.

    1. I think there were a bunch of Starbucks locations registered initially — but then they had to deal with people who’d get confused, choose the wrong Starbucks, and get mad when they realized they were in the Starbucksall the way across the street from the one they really wanted.

  7. Ha! Yes, this is a device I desperately need too. And not just for those boring journeys. With family and friends all over the world, travelling to see them is so time consuming. One thing I love about computer games is that travel is so easy. Every journey takes about 5 seconds. Interesting that you wrote about this . . . I was actually thinking that there are a couple of skills in computer games that I wouldn’t mind having!

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