For the London Free Press – February 25, 2013 – Read this at lfpress.com
Over the last decade, we have been in the midst of an extraordinary technological revolution: the switch from analogue to digital.
Though this shift has been rapid, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technology and devices that are bound to change our lives.
A few short years ago, it was unthinkable that every household would not have a landline telephone. Now, the landline represents one of the final staples of the analogue world. It’s likely that no one under the age of 25 will ever have one.
In the corporate world, desktop phones are facing the same doomed fate as companies try to become more efficient and productive. The use of programs such as Skype for long distance telephony is one example.
Traditional business phone technology suppliers are being replaced in the digital world by companies such as Microsoft, whose Lync product offers integration of traditional phone use with other platforms such as e-mail and document management systems.
The shift from analogue to digital television appears to be almost complete. Big box tube TV’s and rabbit ears have been replaced by sleek and thin HDTVs and PVRs, giving the consumer access to hundreds of channels and endless content on demand.
With the possibilities offered on the Internet, these changes have forced traditional telephone and TV providers to increase their investment from not only controlling the distribution of content but to owning and controlling the content itself. For example, two of Canada’s biggest corporate rivals, Bell and Rogers, did the once unthinkable and became partners in the ownership of the parent company of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The move to digital has led to possibilities such as unified communications where different communication modes can be consolidated on almost any platform in almost any location using a myriad of different devices.
Consumers are starting to expect that if they purchase certain content it be freely available on all of their devices. For example, movie fans who subscribe to Netflix or hockey fans that subscribe to the NHL’s Gamecentre Live expect to be able to access these services at anytime and anywhere whether it’s on their televisions, computers, tablets, cellphones, or gaming devices (such as PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii).
The Internet of things will mean more devices will talk to us and with each other. And wearable computing is here — such as the Pebble watch, and Google’s project glass.
The Pebble Watch is a ground-breaking device that uses interface of a wristwatch as a control and display device for a smart phone. Google’s Project Glass will integrate smartphone technology into eye wear and operate through voice commands.
The digital revolution is still in its infancy. More interoperability and uses will develop The direction communication and the consumption of information and entertainment will take is clear — but details are not.