Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Technological Leaps.... ours begins now.

Remember Turntables?
by Peter Jungmann

If you were around then, you remember it well. During the early 1980's people who liked music had turntables. The technology for good turntables kept getting better and better. People would spend a lot of money for a new needle, a disk-washer kit or some other something that was designed to make the sound better. (Or look cool --people are still into that.)

If a new technological advance came along. New needles, new tracking methods, new turntable mats, anti-skate control, better means of stylus pressure management, or the strobe to insure perfect adjustment of turntable speed, people would replace old turntables, scornful of the old. Many were just imagining the advances that we would see in the future for turntable technology.

It was 1980, 1981, 1982. Turntable technology was fantastic. The sound we could get from our sound systems was awesome. (if you're too young to remember this, ask someone who's over 50 about it.)

The first commercial CD player was available from SONY in 1982. The first album release on CD was in 1982 (Billy Joel, 52nd Street). Of course the reaction to the CD was interesting. There was some "wow! no static" commentary. A lot of commentary about the sound not being quite as good as vinyl -- and scorn about the lack of media for them. CD players for cars came about, and they were -- well, not as good as cassette tapes, because sometimes you couldn't use them if there was too much humidity. In spite of all the scorn, in less than a decade -- you couldn't even find a vinyl album if you tried. A decade after that CDs started declining after the rise of MP3.

CD technology rose on portability. They were smaller. You didn't have to flip them, CD players worked in cars or while walking down the street. (Suddenly there wasn't a need for cassette tapes --which weren't as good as vinyl, but worked in the car.)

All of this is a lesson for the adoption of PicoP.

Right now television technology is increasing at a rapid rate. It's getting ever better and better. Curved TVs, higher resolution, thinner televisions, the pace of improvement is looking a lot like the sudden acceleration of improvement that we once saw in turntables.

Through its history, television has evolved: small screens into larger screens, black and white to color, lower resolution to higher resolution -- and a war to shrink the form factor. It's about to encounter a revolution that's every bit as significant as the transition from black and white to color.

Televisions -- as we know them -- are about to disappear. Just like turntables disappeared from 1980-1990. Sure, some may stay around for decades, but as the popular item they are today, they're about to become a thing of the past. Projectors are going to replace them. Slowly at first -- but in a few years people will look back and wonder what happened.

Projectors. They're getting smaller and better and brighter. PicoP is going to be the single item that pushes this technology out into the mainstream. 

PicoP is finally the small projector that will make them practical:

It sips energy
It runs cool
It is ALWAYS in focus
It's high-definition

No cords, no fans, no heat, no focus wheel, no fumbling.

Bigger Screen
If you have a smart phone, you want one with a bigger screen. Apple didn't want to make a big-screen cellphone, but they just made one - they had to, because cellphone consumers demanded it. The industry made cellphones smaller and smaller until the demand for screen size reversed that trend. 

Something that many people seem to miss -- they go to the outer edges of bigger screen. They hear that PicoP can make a 6 foot screen, and they go immediately to the six foot screen. Yes, that's great. In dim light - pull the shades, you can get a very nice very large picture from a PicoP a theater experience. That however isn't where it will probably be used most.

Bigger Screen in Bright Surroundings
PicoP can do that, but what it will do it better,and more often is produce for you -- in any lighting conditions -- a bright two foot screen. Something ten times the size of your cellphone's screen - anywhere. Sharing pictures with other people. Any wall, someone's back or a sheet of paper becomes a screen MUCH larger than you can get with a cellphone, and that will work anywhere. If you want the theater? Dim the lights and move the projector away from the wall a little. That's ALL you need to do.

Portable media's downside

Consuming all kind of media while mobile is becoming more and more popular. One thing that is seen now with portable media, is that those who are using it are only rarely sharing the experience, and when they do, it's difficult. Even two people can watch something together on a tablet computer for only a short time. 

Since theater began, it's been a shared experience. That has only changed recently, when people started watching media on their mobile devices.

PicoP vs. the Portable media downside

With PicoP -- we'll have portability and we'll recapture the shared experience. It's better to be entertained when you're entertained with other people to share the experience. That it has been a largely solitary experience is very likely one of the reasons for the relatively slow adoption of portable viewing.

This revolution is just beginning.

---- thanks Tom!

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