Sunday, July 12, 2009

Future Shock, Today

A few days ago, I attempted to order a couple pizzas over the phone as I have done dozens of times before. Instead of the usual human voice, I was greeted by an automated system. This prompted me to hang up. If I'm not going to talk to a human, if I'm going to be forced to interact with a computer, I might as well do it using a better interface than the phone. A quick web form later, and the pizzas were on their way.

Reports show sales down for stand-alone GPS devices because they are being displaced by "smart phones" with essentially the same capabilities. Fewer and fewer people are wearing a wristwatch because they use their cell phones like a pocket watch. Anecdotal evidence would indicate the phone part is the worst feature of the iPhone.

I have gadget lust for e-book readers, because currently, I have to clean off my bookshelves to make room for new reading material. Having books stored electronically solves the space problem (and a weight problem next time I move), and the readers wouldn't cause eye strain the way using a laptop to read does. But they also put my beloved book stores on the endangered list.

Currently, the iPhone and e-book readers are well outside my budget constraints, but they are also very young technologies (essentially production version 2 for both). We are less than six months from the year 2010, and you know what? If you stop and think, it kinda shows.

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