Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Few Technological Predictions

Prediction One: I will have an iPad of my very own within a year.

This I know because after having the opportunity to play with my wife’s iPad over the past ten days, I note my iPod Touch is impossibly small. A bit of plankton in a sea now populated by tablet whales. Svelte whales, because my laptop is impossibly heavy. Do I really need new electronic devices? No. but I can see the iPad’s obvious utility, if only for the ability to watch movies on a slightly larger screen or to play “Ticket to Ride” without having to fuss with a mouse. (Yeah, I know I wrote a few weeks ago about you being able to take my mouse once you can pry it from my cold, dead hand, but the past ten days with that iPad has convinced me that I was, perhaps, wrong in that assessment.) Still don’t like the finger grease all over the screen, though. Maybe if someone invented a false fingertip . . . Oh yeah. They already did.

Prediction Two: My wife, building on the advance of her iPad, will have an iPhone or some kind of all-access-to-the-Internet device within two years.

The tightwad in both of us screams at this prediction, but the practicality of having such a device is eroding at our collective Scroogishness. I hope that by holding out for another year or two, we’ll see further technological advances that make this connectedness less expensive and – might I dare say this – not necessarily connected to an expensive sell phone contract. (I’m envisioning a nationwide network devoted solely to data, which could include voice-as-data services a la Skype, to get the cell phone companies’ fingers out of this pie. Of course, that’s just shifting the finger-in-pie from one collective of greedmeisters to another entirely new collective, but maybe along the way they might figure out how to make it less expensive. Oh, sometimes I just make myself laugh.

UPDATE: Today's Dilbert comic strip kinda fits in pretty well with this post:


Brian said...

Just get the iPad with 3G. That way you only pay for Data and not minutes. You would be just as connected as you would be with a smart phone.

carl g said...

You've been saying until now that the iPad is no great revolution, and I've been shaking my head at you. Because some things reach a certain evolutionary tipping point where, while not radically different, they are nevertheless crucially different from what has preceded. The iPad crosses that line.

Mister Fweem said...

I'm still not sure it's revolutionary, because aside from the weight factor and the touchscreen, there's nothing the iPad can't do that my current, six-year-old laptop can't do if I were willing to spend a little money on software. That doesn't make the iPad radically different as you point out, but I'm not yet certain it's crossed that "crucially different" tipping point. Untethering it from PCs, as Brian says is going to happen soon, will be a good step in that direction.

Brian said...

It may not seem revolutionary now but I believe history will show it was the tipping point. Just like the iPhone. There were smart phones before the iPhone but they were all slow and the interface was clunky. Since the iPhone arrived on the scene smart phones continually improve. The same will happen with tablets and it all started with the iPad.

Mister Fweem said...

Okay! I'm obviously surrounded! I give! It's revolutionary!

Brian said...

Not to mention really really cool