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Q: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
Category: Computers > Hardware
Asked by: tbc-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 26 Apr 2002 12:51 PDT
Expires: 03 May 2002 12:51 PDT
Question ID: 6224
What are the consumer products in the coming ten years that will
generate as much excitement as product introductions and advancements
in the past ten years?

Clarification of Question by tbc-ga on 26 Apr 2002 13:04 PDT
I'm not asking for an answer from a crystal ball; rather, I am looking
to be convinced that there is still more exciting technology out there
in the foreseeable future. I remember what it was like ten years ago
-- expensive, clunky cellphones; no PDAs; no Internet; primitive
graphical computer interfaces; no affordable CD burners, no DVDs. I
work in high-tech and watched exciting products get introduced.  Now
my cellphone is smaller than Capt. Kirk's communicator, my laptop can
play DVD movies, I can access the Internet "fast enough," and my PDA
allows me to protect my data with 128-bit IDEA encryption. I just
don't see anything exciting left to do.  At least, nothing to compare
with the last ten years.  Sure I might spring for a DVD burner soon,
but I can create my own VCDs today!  The one widely-touted advancement
-- high-definition television -- looks to be a bust.

So can any Google Experts give me anything to look forward to?
Subject: Re: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
Answered By: penguin-ga on 26 Apr 2002 20:08 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

Yes, the computer industry will be blowing our minds in the future
just as it has in the past.

Have you noticed that the pda keypads could use a larger keypad? The
latest design is a wireless and collapsible keypad!
PocketTop, Inc.

Super Audio CDs will be showing us that digital technology can improve
what already seems to be perfect sound.
“Ears To High Definition Audio”.

Soon there will be optical computers using holograms to store data.

Optical Computing will be increasing the speed and complexity of our
current technologies.
"Recent Advances in Photonic Devices for Optical Computing"

“Unlike other methods that record data only on the surface of a disk,
holographic data storage allows recording through the entire thickness
of the material, which allows for a huge increase in storage density.
In addition, much higher transfer rates are achievable because the
data is stored and recalled in "page format," which can be accessed
one million bits at a time.”

Additional Websites that may interest you: 

“Nanocomputing: The next wave”. The Hindu.

Take a holographic technology tour at In-Phase

Japan Electronics and Information Technology IndustriesAssociation
“Vision for Electronic and Information Industry in 2010 - Part 2”

Search Terms Used: 
Optical Computing 2015
"consumer product OR products"  forecast 2010

I hope this gives you hope for and exciting future in consumer


Request for Answer Clarification by tbc-ga on 27 Apr 2002 15:23 PDT
Thanks for the effort, but none of your findings surprise me. Maybe
I'm too picky, but I'll give you and other commenters one more chance.
My question specifically asks what could be as exciting as the last
ten years. My clarification points out how far we've come in ten
years. Wireless devices? Ho-hum. My cellphone sends and received
e-mail today. I can subscribe to wireless for my PDA. It's not worth
it to me. More storage? Ho-hum. I've read about new storage formats
that will put hundreds of hours of video on DVDs. So I can but a
single disk with the entire Star Trek series on it. That's only an
incremental improvement over what I can do today -- the entire first
season of Star Trek Next Generation on a set of DVDs. Nanocomputing?
We'll see.

Let me point out that the one thing that's excited me is the space
elevator (which I found on my own a few weeks ago):

Now <b>that's</b> bold and exciting. But like nanocomputing, I'll
believe it when I see it. It's too iffy.  The Internet wasn't iffy. I
was on the Internet in 1981. I watched it grow to what it is today.
That's exciting stuff. But I don't see anything that comes close.
Except the space elevator.

If that's the best you can do, I'll gladly pay my $4. That's all it's
been worth.

Clarification of Answer by penguin-ga on 27 Apr 2002 17:22 PDT
Hello again!

I would love to add some two more ideas to my answer.

Have you heard about the C-Pen from C Technologies? "The C-Pen
electronically captures the text, and even though it weighs less than
3 ounces, it can store a surprising 2,500 pages. At home, the text can
be quickly transferred to your desktop or notebook PC via an infrared
port. The C-Pen 600 includes one dictionary of your choice for free. "
More information on the C-Pen is available at .

The Freedom Ship may be the world's first floating community. To view
the plans for this proposed continuously floating city, you can check
their website. has previewed the future of smart kitchens. Soon, ovens
will cook with photons, read a recipe, and boil water without burning
any other food products!
"Cooking With Photons" by Jack Smith. (December 17, 2000)

I hope you find these items as interesting as I do!

tbc-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
promptly answered, results were well worth the cost

Subject: Re: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
From: mit-ga on 27 Apr 2002 00:17 PDT
Hey tbc,

In the very near (now) future, check out:
Danger's upcoming Hiptop ( a ($200) smartphone
with unlimited data/web access for ~$20/mo so that you can search
Google on the go :-) as well as OQO's handheld computer
( and Pogo's device (
E-Ink ( (flexible displays)
Nanoprinting (
Terfenol-based ( devices that use ultrasonic
waves to create speakers out of and flat, rigid surface
Fun toys: Bionic boots ( and pogo
sticks (,
Heads-up displays that beam the image onto the back of your retina
Virtual keyboards that sense/measure the movement of the tendonsin
your wrist to calculate the angle/position of your fingers
Digital cameras the size of a credit card (

In the further future, your phone and/or computer may be sewn into
your clothing (,
or it may be powered by an ethanol fuel cell. Sky's the limit!

Let's go innovate!
Subject: Re: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
From: micke-ga on 27 Apr 2002 05:47 PDT
Oh yes!
The future is more fantastic than most people can imagine..

Did you see the series "Future Fantastic"? ( 9 x 30 minutes ).

There Gillian Anderson hosts questions to scientists and inventors,
to talk about what the future will be like.
If you have not seen it, please do. It is a great boost for the imagination.
There are inventions who are on the brink to reality right now, that will
really make the world much interesting.

And for little things that are availible now.. Look here..
Subject: Re: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
From: stgm-ga on 27 Apr 2002 23:04 PDT
The C-Pen, just like Asimov predicted! A personal, portable, pen-sized
and -shaped text scanner. Take it home and have it "developed."  :)
Subject: Re: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
From: penguin-ga on 28 Apr 2002 21:13 PDT

I would like to give you a little more reason to be excited for the
future of consumer products, so I have included a link to the GOOGLE
directory for future predictions.

Here you will find Technology Forecasts until 2020. These include
designer foods, and intelligent appliances.

I hope this is helpful for you!

Subject: Re: Can the computer industry excite consumers anymore?
From: me-ga on 01 May 2002 11:15 PDT
There will come a time - hopefully by 2030 - that PC's will be in
rings and nearly perfect, and that would be the dead end of the PC
industry. But computers will be able - if not we will all die - to
produce more wheat of the ground and clean more water, remember: there
is already 6 billion of us.

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