Saturday, February 8, 2014

Predictions or Knowing the Trend

All Time 10s is a video shorts series that can be accessed through YouTube.  One upload is entitled "10 Amazing Predictions That Actually Came True".  The predictions revolve around electronic innovations. These predictions don't surprise me. Evidently, these men--Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Roger Ebert, John Watkins---were familiar with the existing precursors.  It was a matter of understanding the sequence of events or natural course of action to which the general public isn't privy.  In other words, it's a matter of insider privileges.

I find the introduction of "electronic innovations" appear to flow backwards into the consumer market. For example, if televisions and radio preceded computers, it would make more sense to have introduced arm-held devices with phone, video, and office applications, thereafter.  Instead, to make more money, the big floor-model TV, was replaced with a miniature nightstand-size TV.  Decades later, the widescreen TV is brought to the market. Similarly, the beeper is introduced after people had grown accustomed to telephones. The beeper is overtaken by the small cellphone, which was overtaken by the cellphone with web access, to be overtaken by tablets. I suggest the answer is sustaining the gravy train via Big-Box or e-commerce. 

Why were tablets introduced in the late 90s, knowing people had been accustomed to large screens from viewing movies in theaters and from floor model televisions since the 20s?  It's quite a cognitive jolt to go from widescreens  to viewing 3-inch screens. Again, it's the gravy train.

Keeping the gravy train running is at the expense of people, though. The issue that slow adapters may have to innovation is that much innovation is physically uncomfortable. For example, a worker has a desktop at the job where she's used to a large screen and a reliable keyboard but her boss wants her to switch to a Blackberry, an iPhone or other handheld device so she's "mobily" accessible.  Had the worker been given a tablet or Netbook device the transition would have been less jarring.

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