My estimation in 1997 of what 2017 would look like would have been wrong. In particular 20 years ago I was running some computers in my basement as my lab. I had a stereo in the living room, with huge speakers and a sub-woofer the size of, well bigger than my dog. I had records and cassettes and of course CDs.
For the most part, our video collection was taped. We had VCR tapes so the kids could grab the movies they loved, and watch them in their bedrooms, the living room, basement or in the car. We moved to DVDs as soon as those were available. We were cutting edge back in 1997! At one time or another, we had between 200 and 300 VCR tapes in the house.
What was then, is no more. I do however still have cassette tapes that I haven’t converted to MP3, and I do still have some records that I need to transfer as well. The tech to do both of those is sitting in my Utility room. I have, however, converted most of the VCR tapes, plus most of the 16mm film my grandfather left me to be digital. Plus, we have converted all of my father’s slides and all the pictures my parents had from my (and my sisters) childhoods.
The transfer project took nearly 12 months to complete. There were so many images (38,000) and in part because we had three distinct media types (Slides, pictures, and film). We had a couple of fits and stops along the way until we found the right tools to use. The only two high impact stops were finding the right tools and then learning how to use those tools. Once we had mastered our tools, the process was easier after that.
One thing out of all of this that is important to me personally. I now have pictures take by my grandfather Andersen and film were taken by my grandfather Johnston that I can leave to my nieces, nephews, children, and siblings. That means a lot to me. Having multiple copies of the 141,000 images that span more than 69 years is incredible. Our family has generated 2000 pictures a year since 1948. That just seems incredible to me! Oh yeah, based on the nasty ransomware floating around right now, have online and offline copies of your media!
I won’t predict what 2037 looks like today. It isn’t my goal to reach that far into the art of the probable. I will take a shot however at what I think will be the big changes by 2027.
Based on the changes that have occurred in the past two or so years, home automation will be huge in 2027. You won’t think about automation because it will just be there, always available. Based on what Sonos has done and where they are heading I think in ten years we will move towards my long dreamed Screen as a Service and my new dream Speaker as a Service. Today you can couple all the speakers in your home and play a source using the Sonos Software. Going forward, I suspect speakers will be embedded in more and more things. Perhaps even in your coffee maker so that that music can permeate your home. Part of surround sound has a sound all around you. What if the sound was everywhere you are.
Mobile entertainment devices will evolve. The first is coming this summer (Keecker). The concept of screens will evolve, to include the concept of speakers that come to you when you need them. Keecker by the way also changes the concept of Speaker as a Service in going beyond the embedded speaker, with the speaker that follows you around.
Anyway my projections for what will change over the next ten years.
- The concept of home automation will be much bigger. We will be collecting analytics from our homes (air quality, noise levels) so to help produce a better life experience. What you sleep on, how long you sleep and how well you sleep. Exercise and other helpful life moments will be tracked and brought together in your home automation package.
- Screen as a service, connect to any screen at any time (within reason of course).
- Speakers as a Service, where more and more home items have embedded speakers. The long dreamed of the flat speaker (simply a membrane) will allow you to tailor your home to the sound you like.
- Robotics will evolve into more effective tools as they have already over the past ten years.
- The cellular phone will become just the ear piece. The screen will be whatever screen you are in from of (see number 2)
I won’t do more than 5 for now. But that is my projection. Let’s see where we are in 5 years! Hopefully, I am 80% right and have to increase the range of the top five options for the future!