Sunday, May 8, 2011

Devices Devices Devices

The "Cloud" thing is really an exercise in consumer behavior.  So many new cellphones, PDAs, tablets, and other communications devices are being developed and marketed that there's little time for the average consumer to make an educated decision about what is wanted or needed for that matter.  There's a part of it all that smacks of handbag envy.  (I'm a man, but am under considerable pressure to help fund occasional visits to designer handbag stores). 

And - go figure - planned obsolescence is automatically built-in to the lifespan or each gadget. Just when we thought DSL or 3G was fast enough, another technology supplants at and we're off to the races, again.  When will it end?

The end is certainly not in sight when it comes to video-on-demand, the evolution of video phones, and the bandwidth appetite for each.  The connectivity providers are working diligently to strike a reasonable economic balance between funding their infrastructure development, purchasing available wireless broadband capacity, and, magically making it available to consumers at low cost.  How we (consumers) will be able to stream video, songs, Facetalk and Tango applications with reasonable quality without paying more will be tricky.  It seems, too, that the content providers continue to feed our appetite for entertainment, news, sports, and now social interaction at blazing speeds while absorbing, magically, the costs of production, data storage, and transmission.

Possibly real-time video - like the analog TV of the 20th Century - will finally slow development.  Until we have completely developed digital models and systems that replicate - on mobile devices - the former over-the-air and later cable distribution systems, development of devices and distribution systems will continue at breakneck speed.

Coming up.  How these changes affect traditional industries like banking, retail, education, and bricks and mortar entertainment.  Stay Tuned!

Colin MacKinnon is a technologist and entrepreneur living in San Diego.  Twitter @cmackin1.
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