There are few things like predictions to spark some discussion, and I found a set of predictions about what everyday technology we won’t be using in a decade on TechRadar (h/t Digg) that I’m sure will produce some discussion.
If nothing else, it’ll get you thinking about the future and you’ll interact with your tech, which is pretty fun too.
Their list of eight redundant devices is pretty solid:
1. Keyboard and mouse, 2. Public wi-fi, 3. Landline phone, 4. Optical disks, 5. Standard game controllers, 6. Desktop PCs, 7. Operating systems, 8. Blogging
Good stuff for discussion. I won’t dissect each device and the reasoning here, but in short, I’m skeptical about 1 and 7 and find the reasoning behind 8 funny, i.e. blogging is supposed to be much more than posting your thoughts and people reading them. I guess someone’s doin it rong, either the bloggers or the readers.
Riffing off the concept of future tech, I thought I’d put some gray matter behind what I’d like to see in the next decade from technology, so what will be there vs. what won’t.
1. The uber set top box
I have far too many boxes connected to my TV–satellite, TiVo, DVD player. When I put a TV in the bedroom over Christmas, the setup had to include those same components, otherwise its utility would have been much lower.
Other people have more connected to their TVs than I do with a game console being high on the list, and it seems like there are new boxes with new functionality that I might want coming out all the time.
There is some convergence, but it’s taking longer than I can stand.
Case in point, I love my TiVos, but they’re both Series 2. So, I can’t get Netflix streamed to them, at least for now. I’ve been using Amazon UnBox on TiVo for years, but their selection is too small. I’ve also heard rumblings that Blockbuster may offer streaming to TiVo.
All I really want is to rent movies from the biggest selection possible and stream them to my TV, without buying yet another box or a new box.
>In the next decade, I’d really love to see convergence onto a single set top box to rule them all–gaming, streamed movies, recorded media movies, TV, DVR, music, all that in a single unit. Sounds a bit pie-in-the-sky, considering how many companies and technologies are involved.
So, I’ll settle for a rack-mounting system similar to what you find in a data center with 1U boxes plugging into slots and a single cord from the rack to the TV handling the connections.
If I want to add a service, I buy a 1U box and plug it into the rack. Easy peasy.
2. Everything over the air
I hate cords. They’re a pain that I’d love to avoid in the not-so-distant future.
Dell recently released a laptop that can be charged wirelessly, and I’d love to see the same theory applied to charging USB devices too.
Beyond power, I want to sync my iPhone over the air and send video to my monitor over the air. Same thing for the TV. I hate connecting boxes to my TV; it feels so 90s.
I’m willing to sacrifice speed and clarity to do everything through the air. There are just too many cords in my life.
3. Portable displays
I’ve always thought it would be sweet to have a headset display that showed you what was on your TV as you moved around the house or outside.
Similar to wireless headphones, the signal would stream over the air to your wearable display so you could watch TV in other rooms. I guess this is marginally useful if you have a DVR, but it works for adding TVs to other rooms without all the trappings discussed in my first idea.
If you coupled the uber set top box (or TV rack) with this, you could put a TV in every room without any of the wires. Add tuners to split the incoming signal, and each display can watch something different.
So, what do you think about these? Turns out they all work together to create my awesome home of the future, with 95% fewer cords.
I had five, but I trimmed the list to three. The two that didn’t make the cut didn’t seem terribly awesome after a while. What about the eight from TechRadar? Have anything to add?
Find the comments.