“We have nothing, if not belief.” said C.S. Lewis. And that much is true– we cannot create brand new technologies if they weren’t imagined in the first place. But as technology integrates almost seamlessly with our lives, as is already evident with social networking, it becomes harder to imagine what else we can rely on technology for, since we already rely on so much.
Can there be a moment in time where technologies aren’t born, but just age?
I imagine a world where technology isn’t looked at under a microscope, because so much of it will be in open source formats, available to everyone to work together to make incredible things to change the world.
And then imagine a world where market research is instantaneous. Advertising is no longer a guessing game– companies deeply know their audience due to social media technology being integrated into almost every aspect of our life.
Companies such as Facebook move to the top of the Fortune 500 because personal information becomes the hottest commodity in the world.
We will communicate digitally almost not differently then how we do in person. Strengthened mobile devices would allow for a deeper conversational experience with our friends and family.
The “DIY” attitude created by social media for musicians will have even more strength, because social media will allow us to strengthen creative communities and will allow different creative minded people to collaborate on bigger projects in real time.
Musicians will have more and more power to entertain thanks to popular advancements in projection technology, three dimensional environments, and other technological advancements that bring their concerts to life.
It is enjoyable to imagine a world where technology allows us to look at the world with an increased amount of depth and understanding. Where the technologies we invent and utilize on a daily basis become as smart as us.
Or become us.
The current and future state of mobile technology is a great place for us to begin looking at our dependance of technology. As our mobile phones become labeled as “smart” and are valued for their speed and productivity, we begin to be more in tune with our mobile devices and allow their powers to connect us further with social media and various technologies that our laptops and personal computers once had the sole ability to access.
Which makes me think– is “smart phone” even the proper term for what we are using? If we can do everything from purchase stock, play games, and engage in social networking, does that not make phone calls themselves just another app? Just another feature?
Smart phones such as Apple’s iPhones are currently quite physically demanding— their battery life shortens with age quite quickly, and their processors aren’t terribly powerful by today’s personal computer standards.
Anthony Townsend, a research director at the Institute for the Future states, “Companies like Intel have focused on putting more transistors on a chip and making their products more powerful…It takes a while to turn a ship like that around.”
If processors can become even smaller, mobile devices and applications will be even more powerful, and combined with strong broadband connections, and improved wireless features, these devices can be embedded into clothing, other devices, even ourselves.
At the Royal College of Art in London, researchers developed the first cell-phone implant, which consisted of a cell phone receiver in the user’s ear, and a transducer, which transferred speech, through a molar and jaw in the user’s mouth. The transducer would cause the tooth to vibrate, sending an electrical impulse through the jawbone and into the receiver in the ear.
Did it work? Sort of.
The technology was expensive to create, expensive to implant, and only had the feature to transfer speech. It couldn’t fulfill any of the high demands that modern media consumers have for their phones.
“…combined, the circuit board, its components and the battery make up about half of the phone’s bulk. The rest comes from the screen, the keys and the outer plastic case. Since an implant has to be much smaller than a traditional cell phone, a good first step in making one is getting rid of these three elements. For this reason, a cell-phone implant does not have a typical user interface (UI). It uses the person’s body instead.” Tracy V. Wilson, Howstuffworks.com
It is an exciting future for technology knowing that not only will we have all this power at our fingertips, but possibly in our fingertips.
Since the introduction of the iTunes Music Store, legal, electronic song downloading has become the most widely purchased medium of music and will likely have a long shelf life considering there is no hardware that is needed other than a personal computer or mp3 player to consume this media.
Singles have made their return, and millions of songs are being sold individually, allowing traditional radio listeners who prefer singles over entire albums an opportunity to purchase just the songs they enjoy. It also allows customers who may like only a few particular songs from an artist purchase just those that they enjoy instead of the entire album. As a result an album release isn’t as much of a major event for an artist, and instead musicians have to work harder to create a strong fan base and create a community with their fans.
“Most agree that the currency of exchange for recorded music will be the attention of the fans instead of their money. If an artist can get attention they will be able to sell tickets to their shows, license songs to soundtracks and get money for endorsing products. The labels held the key to getting access to big opportunities but now the artists and their managers have to find other avenues.” Mike McCready, CEO Platinum Blue / Music Xray
The improvement of home recording technologies have allowed more independent artists to produce their own music from the comfort of their home studios, making the only cost (other than the cost of the home studio software/hardware) the time the artist puts into their work.
With free, popular music and video communicates such as YouTube, users have free access to potentially millions of views, as long as the right eyes see and share the content that is uploaded. As we have seen in the past twenty years, everything from dancing babies, to lip syncing videos, and rough car crashes have popularized YouTube, turning home movies into blockbusters.
And where is YouTube headed?
Our goal is to allow every person on the planet to participate by making the upload process as simple as placing a phone call. This new video content will be available on any screen – in your your living room, or on your device in your pocket. YouTube and other sites will bring together all the diverse media which matters to you, from videos of family and friends to news, music, sports, cooking and much, much more. – Chad Hurley, YouTube co-founder
As a content creator and as a student of media technologies, it brings me happiness that new technologies are making it easier for individuals to create loads of content to splash all over the web or in any medium that they see fit. What I am fearful of however, is an attitude that just because someone has access to said technologies that they are able to create content that is well produced.
Advancements in social media and multimedia recording software make it easier for everyday people all over the world to share their world views, their talents, and their voice.
“Broad cultural, technological, and economic shifts are rapidly erasing the distinctions between those who create and those who use, consume, or participate. This is true in digital experiences and information environments of all types, as well as in the physical and conceptual realms. In all of these contexts, substantial expertise, costly tools, specialized materials, and large-scale channels for distribution are no longer required to execute design.” – Joe Lamantia, blogger, graphic designer
With the recent rise in popularity of 3D films, Hollywood is raising the bar for what is considered flashy entertainment, and fans will learn to expect these larger than life effects in almost every production. But just how “3D” will 3D technology become?
Companies that currently lead the digital projector marketplace such as Sanyo and Panasonic are creating new models of digital projectors that are becoming smaller and smaller, allowing users to more comfortably find a home in their living rooms for these devices, increasing the user experience of viewing television and multimedia.
But the future of projection technology is just advancing in the portability of the machine itself, but rather, what is coming out of the lens itself.
TOMORROW IS TODAY
In sci-fi films and movies, we constantly see the future imagined with more and more interaction between man and machine. Tom Cruise’s character in the film Minority Report interacts with holographic computer monitors with his bare hands, and communicates to the CPU through ordinary conversation. We reference these films and books because they allow us to imagine future technology with a bit of context, but what many people do not realize is that these technologies are in development, and early stages of “futuristic tech” are already underway.
Our computers have become incredibly more powerful by giving us access to worldwide social networking sites such as the powerhouses Facebook and Twitter.
In this past decade we have seen how technologies such as YouTube and Facebook have revolutionized all walks of communication and marketing. We can envision life re-imagined. Smart phones give us access to information and instant entertainment like never before, and as this technology reaches new planes, our ability to change the world becomes even more reachable.
In my next posting I will be discussing how musicians and record labels are helping market their music in creative ways internally. How do they impress college radio DJs? What kinds of merchandise and outreach are they giving to stations to influence more plays?