The future of our living room

worlds are shifting. seriously…

all around me i see the matrix moving all around – where ever i look…

examples? aplenty.

digital media consumption: slate devices are here to rule the world. the more i play around with my ipad the more i realize how wonderful a 12h battery can serve humanity on the go. and that is key here – on the go. consider it a platform and not a gadget. mobile devices are here to stay. desktop computers? time to turn them into art. they are out the door in terms of dominating the market. face it – we consume, and we consume a lot. in 2010 who is not HDD? seriously… having all media streamed and centralized in a long hour operating device with a crisp device and intuitive interaction will break all barriers. from kids to astronauts. it is just a matter of time.

learning: kids will benefit much from slate devices (BTW, there are over 8 competitors about to launch their products and compete head to head with apple’s ipad). i see kids carrying a huge school bag on their small backs, all these massive books – i say no more! soon enough all the material will be available as a digital book, that will fit within the pound a a half a salte device weighs. with many hours of operation it is a no brainer for schools. moreover, the content can be layered with videos AND become interactive. how about that for creating interesting course material, tests, quizzes and home work?

the kitchen: yes my friends, the kitchen. one of the most important and fun rooms in any house hold – the room where we feed our body, the room where mostly women spend time (excluding metrosexual guys who care for their bodies like myself) to prepare meals for their families. how come there is no digital help there in 2010? sure, we have DVD players etc, but that is used to consume media. how about enhancing the experience in the kitchen? from social media, videos of recipes, timers, integration and interaction with consumer products, baby monitoring and much more. times are shifting my friends, didn’t i mention that?

the living room: yes – last and definitely not least, the title of this post. the real cash cow of media and hardware companies. the area where we will notice aggressive and fierce competition. let’s start with what we have today: we have a one direction big screen and a cable company that decides what we can watch, when and at what cost. they shove commercial right where we don’t want them and make billions. all of that my friends will rapidly change. to date, youtube video uploaded in 2 months accumulate to more footage ever released by all major networks aggregated within the last 20 years. incredible isn’t it? the future is prime content mixed with user created content that will become more and more high end as we go along. check out gary vaynerchuk and winelibrary.tv for prime content centered around wine. and more people are doing their own home production while building brand equity.

so we have great content in our finger tips. what will shift is the hardware. more and more TVs will be released in the near future that will run an operating system. like android, windows and mac/iphone OS. what that means is that the TV will become interactive and essentially a new product. TV 2.0. not widgets a la samsung. but a real computer that has a huge and beautiful display, input and outputs that can allow decoding of HD video and audio signal etc. all we got to expect from a TV, but the control moves back to us – the consumer. and this will happen not a moment too soon.

how long will it take apple to create a beautiful 50″ backlit LCD that runs the iphone OS, which allows multi touch and can be turn into a table when u want a flat user interaction? there are a couple of android based TVs coming out very soon from japan. face it. the TV can and should do much more than it is doing today. screw the big networks – power to the people. consume media when u want it and how u want it. let me buy the episodes i like directly to my set top box, sync it with all my devices seamlessly and make sure i can collaborate around it with my close ones.

if so far we had seen a great and exciting new ecosystem rising – the appStores. from apple to android, blackberry and samsung. we will see apps made for the TV as well. and here is where i ask you – what kind of apps can u envision being used in the living room? how will the TV enhance the usage and integration with other devices around our living space? our phones, our slates, and in the future maybe our cloths and appliances.

worlds are shifting my friends – they are shifting…

apple’s tow stepping should make you happy

man what a couple of weeks we had in the tech world… since the day the ipad was launched, up until the unveiling of the iphone OS 4G, through the new and impressive CS5 by adobe, the plethora of slate devices about hit the market at low prices, with windows 7 going mobile and android making it to tv sets… man.. what a couple of weeks we had in the tech world. not to mention barcelona’s victory over arsenal with 4 goals by messi… 🙂

did i forget something? let me think for a second… anything else ground breaking that is worth talking (besides the 100 pages one car write about all listed above?)…. mmmm…. ah yes!! iAd. the new ad delivery service by apple.

seems like apple is right there at vertical integration, from processor to content – full control with an iron fist.

apple was able to piss off way to many people and companies in the last couple of weeks. here is a quick list in case you had missed it:

– iphone OS 4G will not allow cross-compiling apps. this is a big middle finger to both adobe and microsoft and a huge disappointment for their massive developer community. every developer and their sister were dreaming of loading up their flash app in cs5, clicking a few buttons and submitting their app to the appStore. apple says no-no-no.

i can’t really blame apple here.. honestly… flash is as closed a system as the iphone. adobe control and monetize that market for years. now that apple is turning a cold shoulder adobe is pissed? flash can kill the appStore, with infinite amount of games and utilities. the number of developers for flash is significantly larger than cocoa touch…

so what should adobe do? simple. push flash on other platform like windows7 and android. maybe think about developing their own device (i am not sure it is a good idea). everyone wants to take a piece of the pie when it comes to the emerging market of app stores. heck, that market is projected to grow exponentially the next 5 years and top 20 billion downloads in 2012.. who does not want a slice of the pie?

apple is being apple. closed system, total control – an iron fist. today i’ve learned apple is using undocumented web app tools in the ipad user guides (http://www.tuaw.com/2010/04/09/adlib-apples-secret-web-app-weapon/). maybe we will hear about those libraries soon. maybe we won’t. apple is definitely holding all the cards.

BTW, apple’s supposed response to the anti-cross-compiling issue is multi taksing (http://www.tuaw.com/2010/04/09/apple-blocking-flash-built-apps-because-of-multitasking/). essentially apple may argue that wrapping non native code will prohibit multi tasking and the like on the 4G version of the OS…

in my mind this is the time for android to shine. google – get your act together and hire some UX experts. the nexus one feels like a geeky toy next to the iphone. did you not learn that the user experience is KEY? seriously… how do u enter a market with a smart phone that does pretty much all the iphone does, at the same price point with an inferior interface? adoption of the device will take longer than expected. change the UI, make it attractive – and u will win in the long run.

the good news is that apple will not take over the world. this is not microsoft nor google. they are here to take a little slice of heaven – an expensive piece of real estate. in the long run HTML5 will win and the web will triumph and bla bla bla…

a good move by apple is iAd. google is reporting a 30% growth in mobile search. no doubt the market is booming and more people have smart phones than laptops. the desktop is seriously sick and will die soon. why does google continue to push text ads in mobile devices? who is interested in contextual ads when reading a feed? no one! with 90 something percent of revenues streams from ads, google had no other choice but to go head to head with apple. those who control the medium – control the market. it is the device you use to access the internet that matters. the screen size, the operating system, the API’s and abilities to uniquely add advertisement.

google is in a tight spot, just like adobe, only google has much more to loose. i mentioned in a previous post that google should manufacture their own hardware – which they are doing now. but the only difference is the price point is the same. what is your competitive edge? only time will tell.

with apple pissing off everyone, we – the consumers, can relax and be happy. this competition will drive prices down, introduce new and exciting applications and innovation, will allow the eco system to grow globally, investors will start taking more risks, and the supply for smart phones and slates will rise while prices drop. a sure winner if you ask me.

as the google moto goes, and now it may be a good time to apply to to apple: apple – don’t be evil!