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 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…

Motorola DROID first (right) hands-on

yeah, this is great news for everyone. the competition between google and apple is just warming up, android 2.0 is out with the world’s thinest slider full qwerty, gps turn by turn navigation, slick facebook integration and more. check out the link to egadget for videos and photos.

here is the thing that popped up very quickly. this phone is designed for right handed people almost exclusively. bummer. no big surprise, but a bummer. as you will see, the keyboard has a navigation pad at the right side of it, for you to use with your right thumb.

this is a normal situation for all left handed people out there (yours truly included). from the door handle and direction it opens to cameras, scissors, pens and cell phones.

while this phone is very impressive and it definitely seems that it is worth checking out and maybe it will be able to bite into the iphone’s market share, i cannot help but think about the 10% of us who are left handed. not only our life expectancy is ~8 years less than right handed poeple, we are also singled out when it comes to consumer electronics. we are just not an important enough a market, sorry, let me rephrase that: we are not a profitable enough a market to create a whole new manufacturing chain for.

so what we have done for years is learn how to use equipment as right handed people do. is it a big deal? i think it is. as an amateur photographer i need to hold and snap with my right hand. only some guitars are made for lefties, and internal designers rarely ask their client if they are left handed, and then go about adjusting all the nitty gritty details to accommodate that.

how can this problem be solved?

i understand the manufacturing cost, and the fact that the left handed market is not big enough to produce phones for. one option is to create a neutral phone, one that caters to neither camps. another, is to make the differences software adjustable. for example: the iphone. i can re-arrange the apps as i see fit, so they are within the comfortable reach of my left hand thumb.

so far i have not seen a worthy left handed smart device besides the ihpone, which still does not really cater for us lefties. the address book scroling, the maps button layout etc.

here is a crazy idea: why not create two separate layout for each application (developers pay attention pls), where i define the left/right setting from the preferences menu. each application checks for the value there (0 for right and 1 for left) and uses a different layout to match my preference.

can that work?

in any event, enjoy the new phone’s preview in the link below and expect greater things from this market in the very near future.

Motorola DROID first hands-on! update: video, impressions, more pics.