Back to the future…

I wonder if the new PS3 online store will encroach on Apple’s iTunes market? I can’t see any reason now to buy an Apple TV if you already have a PS3. Actually, I couldn’t see the point of buying an Apple TV before this – why is there no digital TV tuner!?!

I’ve been doing lots of thinking recently, regarding the way in which people interact with their technology: phones, TVs, desktop, laptops, PDAs, MP3 players, cameras, etc, etc. This thinking was prompted by the lack of a proper backup procedure in my house (who’s house?) and the inexplicable use of separate printers in different rooms, which all have to be maintained – or not, my house has become a veritable graveyard for printers. Anyway, my thinking is that we should all be sharing a TimeCapsule (because you know we all use Macs) and a USB printer (which I will plug in to said TimeCapsule).

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about they way that technology is used and my conclusion is this: the MacBook Air is shit and so is the EEE PC. They both try to tackle the same problem, but fail for different reasons: expense, battery life, connectivity, usability… So my vision for the future is this: we will all have an iPhone type device, it will be reasonably priced and comprise all of the features of the current iPhone with WiMax (or similar), VoIP, a decent digital camera, be useable as a USB hardrive and anything else I can think of. We will all have a server running at home which will have a huge capacity of mirrored raid hard disks (possibly SSD), all available locally over the network (wireless obviously) and over the internet. This server will be a central store of all of the families data (files, photos, email, music, video) and a print server. Each room in the house will have a workstation (in my mind I see an iMac-eque device) which will be used as the TV/conventional desktop. When you are at home your iPhone-esque device will just revert to VoIP, no additional handsets required, oh, and when you get to within range of your house, it will automatically sync with the server.

Strangely, my fictional future contains more technology but fewer devices…which brings me neatly to my point. Why would you want an Apple TV and a PS3 if you could get away with just having one of them?

5 thoughts on “Back to the future…

  1. I have an Apple TV and a PS3, but I agree with you. What you are talking about is what people are calling convergence: A computer with a screen and internet access could replace TVs, phones, gaming and other audio/video playback devices, as well as all the physical media they rely on: CDs, DVDs, etc. Add WiFi capability and mobiles disappear too.

    The technology exists, but the infrastructure and contributing companies must catch up. The BBC have made a move in the right direction recently with the iPlayer. You can already listen to most radio stations on the internet. Sky have their SkyAnytime internet system (PC only). Time Warner (I think) are looking to borrow bittorrent type technology to deliver movies online. It’s all going that way, but for now…

    I need an Apple TV and a PS3 because:

    a) I want to play games (Apple TV can’t do that).
    b) I want to buy music/videos on iTunes and sync to my HiFi (PS3 can’t do that).
    c) I need at least two devices anyway, because I want stuff in more than one room.

  2. So do we think that the recent price drop for the base model of the iPhone is due to:
    a. Apple is feeling guilty about the ridiculous premium it is charging for said technology.
    b. Apple is attempting to shift the base models it has in stock, because nobody wants a base model.
    c. Apple is trying to shift excess stock ready for a 3G iPhone this summer.
    d. None of the above.

  3. 3G would be the best reason, but maybe its just because they have too much stock, or because production just got cheaper.

    Interestingly, a friend of mine (the only one with an iPhone) can’t see why you would need more than 8GB anyway, although the recent SDK allowing proper iPhone apps could change that.

    Although you can buy an iPod with enourmous capacity to hold all your tunes, I’m not sure it’s necessary. I find that I favour a few albums which I’m happy to listen to a number of times, which get replaced by new ones, with the odd nostalgic leap back to something from before you were born.

    I’ve just put my Apple TV on: it’s great, and so is my PS3.

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