Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Crystal ball gazing, the view from here

From my rather dim vantage point I couldn't help wondering where all this technology is taking us. I of course am just skimming the surface of things to come. What got me thinking was a Ford car ad on television. It said stuff rather briefly about voice control for Bluetooth gadgets and Microsoft. Two of the most used gadgets in the world today is the TV remote and the cell phone. It had occurred to me that a possibility exists to wed the cell phone, which already has absorbed personal digital assistant (PDA) functions, with the TV universal remote, which controls the home entertainment system. Add to this a connection to the home/business computer and security and environmental systems and you have quite a bit of power at your finger tips. Today this collaboration can be had for a price but as the idea seeps down into the lives of everyday folks we can expect it to become common place. Several things keep us from diving headfirst into this. Controlled access, security, and privacy rights come to mind. Did I forget the obvious, who makes the money? Years ago, personal computers were just a dream, now we want to put our collections of VHS tapes and DVD discs on home servers to network to our PC powered entertainment systems. Soon we will have voice control because we already talk on the cell phone. What's is it to add some software to connect to our systems and issue commands. The iPhone even replaces the mouse with a touch screen and the Wii game control does mouse in 3d space. What's the difference between voice mail and email, probably spellcheck. Spellcheck can be automatic and translated into any language on the fly. There will be and perhaps is, Rosetta stone software for both speech and text. Lets see, Bluetooth and wireless ethernet, what is it we can not connect to? You have to look at what's disappearing and what's appearing. Phone booths, pay phones are rare because of cell phones and flash drives made floppy's obsolete. Laptops can now play games that one time could only be played on a high powered desktop. On various levels we blend the technologies but no one seems to embrace a grand picture at least not in the general publics' eye. Still we dream the dreams through movies that are prophetic and in company boardrooms. When I came on the scene the TV was new and now we will see the technology change from analog to digital. This will allow the technologies to merge closer. All will fight harder to define their digital rights. Rights to control, rights to access, rights to create, suspend, and delete. And of course, who makes the money. What happens to the medium of exchange will also be up for grabs. This is something that concerns us all. Who controls the controllers who control the controls and what is the worth of a human being?

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