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CES 2013: How Far We Have Come

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CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2013 wrapped up this past weekend and I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the products that debuted at the show that went on to change our lives for better or worse. Also included are some epicly failed predictions involving past experts and, to top it all, some Cisco tech predictions for our near future.

Blast from the Past

The Videocassette Recorder - 1970

Ah, the VCR. Did it get any better than this? Yes. Yes it did. I remember when the idea of recording a TV show was novel, and how you inevitably recorded over some priceless family memory when recording the newest episode of Star Trek. Also, unwinding ruined tape was the greatest thing ever!

"Pong" - 1975

You mean I don't have to chase that stupid ball all over my basement anymore?! Sign me up! Hey, let's turn that useless table into a drinking game.

Frickin' Pong, I owe you so much.

The Compact Disc Player - 1980

The CD was the end-all. People thought we had stumbled upon the pinnacle of information transfer. "Are you telling me I don't have to rewind it AND I can jump to any track I want? Holy s%&$."

There was something so very special about getting albums in a digital format. The sound was clean and you could play any song to death whenever you wanted to, as apposed to waiting for the radio to do so. That being said, the nostalgia that comes from experiencing an album through analog means still takes the cake for me.

Nintendo Entertainment System - 1985

Of course I want to be a fat plumber who races through levels filled with stereotypes so I can rescue a princess who will just get herself caught again in a year. Who wouldn't?

So much goodness came out of the NES era, goodness that comprises some serious cultural cornerstones even now. Not only that, but it really sparked an entirely new culture of gamers, one that would rather not throw quarters at a box without any real endgame.

High Definition Television - 1998

Remember the first time you saw the pores of you favorite actor in glorious HD? Yea, tragic. High definition television single handily changed the face of makeup artists everywhere. No longer did the performer need only a pound of makeup, now a five pound minimum and a days worth of air brushing are required just to be ready for the HD stage.

The Xbox - 2001

Yea, I stopped caring after this bad boy. There was something so enchanting and powerful about this brick house. Even the on-board music player interface was cool. Add in a dash of Master Chief and the original Xbox lives on forever as one of humanities greatest achievements. Landed on the moon? Who cares, watch me pwn this n00b.


"Television won't be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night." - Darryl Zanuck (20th Century Fox Producer - 1946)

Haha, somebody got the pink slip. Also, excellent wood grain reference.

"Home Taping Is Killing Music." - Campaign against bootlegging off the radio from 1980

Oh, you just wait.

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." - Sir William Preece

Lucky those messenger boys didn't have a union good sir.

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?" - Response to call for investment in radio


A Future Near You

Here are the top five technological predictions from Dave Evans, Chief Futurist, Cisco IBSG Innovations Practice. Personal Sidenote: Chief Futurist may be the coolest job title I have ever seen.

1.) By 2029 11 petabytes (11,534,336 Gb) will be available for $100 - equivalent to 600+ years of continuous, 24 hour/day, DVD quality video.

2.) In the next 10 years, we will see a 20-time increase in home networking speeds.

3.) By 2015, wireless network traffic will reach 400 petabytes a month. Today, the entire global network transfers 9 exabytes per month.

4.) The Internet will evolve to perform instantaneous communication regardless of distance.

5.) The first commercial quantum computer will be available by 2020.

What's up David? No flying cars? You suck bro.

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