Posted: May 26, 2010 in Reel Life
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I swear I feel like a kid on the night before Christmas.

I am so excited I feel giddy. I am filled with anticipation and am feeling positively salivary. Now here’s the embarrassing part – what am I so excited about? It’s a consumer purchase bought several weeks ago and slated for delivery before Friday. A consumer purchase? Salivary?

To better understand my excitement you need to understand that I have always been a bit of a geek. I’ve always been comfortable with technology and over the years I’ve stayed abreast of the amazing developments that have shaped our world and our societal experience. I can be very passionate about technology, but not technology for its own sake. I’m a fan of applied technology – that is how we use it to enhance and better serve our day to day lives.

Over the years there has been an explosion of technological development, some of it ridiculous and some of it life-changing. That’s right, life-changing. I have been thinking of some of the technological developments that I have witnessed that have changed the way I live and interact with the world around me. Here’s a quick list of some of those life-changing technologies, in no particular order, and by no means definitive:

• Cable TV
• Touch-tone phones
• The personal computer
• Modems
• The Internet
• WWW, e-mail
• Cellphones
• My PVR
• iPods
• BlackBerry/iPhone
• Apple TV
• Digital everything
• Bluetooth
• Digital cameras
• Facebook

Each of these technologies has had a profound impact on my ease of living and on the facility with which I interact with the world around me. What an astonishing world we live in.

Recently I was at a concert and found myself shooting live video, posting it live to the Internet, waiting for my friends to watch it and then reading their comments live as they weighed in on the performance. And all that without leaving my seat in the stadium. Astonishing. When I drive now, geosynchronous satellites overhead pinpoint my location with 10 feet, let me know about traffic up ahead of me and warns me if a speed trap is nearby. Amazing.

I think it’s very easy to take all this techno-wizardry for granted. For most of us it’s invisible and we see only the end result and that’s probably the way it should be. But when I think about what these devices are actually able to do it still blows my mind. Satellites. Wireless. Beam me up Scotty.

But it’s when one of the life-changing devices comes down the pipe that I truly get pumped. They don’t come along very often. Sometimes I can see it coming and sometimes it sneaks up on me, blindsiding me when I least expect it. And if there’s any one company that’s been responsible for forever changing our consumer landscape for the better, it’s Apple.

From its inception Apple has got it. They’ve always demonstrated an uncanny ability to redefine various consumer experiences in a way that makes everyone else hurry up and follow. When they first started out they invented the mouse and the graphical interface that later became the mainstay of the Windows experience. Their introduction of the iPod forever changed the way we interact with our music experience. Apple TV redefined the home entertainment experience and the iPhone became the new standard for mobile computing devices. Love them or hate them, these guys got it and they nailed it every time. I should have bought stock.

So imagine my excitement when last February I saw the first online video demo of the upcoming iPad. By the end of that video I was so excited that I was ready to buy. Now, even though I’m a big techno-file I am not what you would call an early adopter. I usually watch as new technologies debut, get their kinks worked out by the marketplace and then get refined in the second generation release. But when I saw the iPad all that logic went out the window.

When I first witnessed the iPad I immediately realized that this device was something in between a notebook and an iPhone – it wasn’t just a big iPhone nor was it a notebook wannabe. The iPad is poised to occupy a new niche in the tech market – it’s a powerful, mobile computing device that provides a superior entertainment experience, makes your world mobile and utilizes an interface that is intuitive and very, very clever. It is going to become the heart and soul of my home entertainment experience and will likely become my daughter’s best friend.

This is so unlike me – to buy a device before it’s even released to the market and then to watch the calendar as I silently count down to D-day (delivery day). But I know this one’s going to be a winner. I have an iTouch and it has been a life-changing device. The iPad promises to pick up where the iTouch left off and then go somewhat further. Now I can hear many of you shaking your heads in disbelief. All this excitement over a small computer? Darn right and it can’t happen soon enough for me. Bring on the change, the evolution is now.

As an adult I don’t treat myself very often. I still love to get new toys although these days the toys I get tend to be much more functional than the train set I was enamoured with in my youth. But still, as adults I think it’s important that we recognize the kid inside of us and go out and buy it a toy. Sure, they’re more expensive now but they’re also much more fun to play with.

So, when the iPad was listed for pre-sale on the Apple web site I was there in a flash, credit card in hand, happy and eager to be one of the iAcolytes. But to make us wait nearly 3 weeks for delivery – well-that’s just mean. I know that the next generation of iPads will be better – they’ll have a video camera, be slimmer and faster but that’s ok. I’ll deal with that when it happens. I’m so certain that this device will hit my life with a wallop that I bought it sight unseen. I can’t remember the last time I did that.

And so now I wait. But with tremendous impatience that is surprising even me. I want my MTV, darn it and I want it now! This device won’t be for everybody but if it’s for you then get ready to have your world rocked. The iPhone is still rocking my world and that’s more than a year later.

So, join me on the technology bandwagon. Embrace change and look forward with the excitement of an explorer discovering the New World. We live in amazing times and don’t ever forget how powerful the forces are that surround our lives every day. We are the citizens of the new millennium and we will see the world changed for us, by us and even, in spite of us. We will bear witness to that change whether we want it or not.

  1. Stevan Plavsa says:

    I like your blog Michael.
    “Each of these technologies has had a profound impact on my ease of living and on the facility with which I interact with the world around me. What an astonishing world we live in.”

    And I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. What a wonderful world indeed. You mention GPS, the thing that fascinates me most about GPS is that the satellites are programmed to take relativity into account:

    “To achieve accuracy requirements, GPS uses principles of general relativity to correct the satellites’ atomic clocks.”

    The world is awe inspiring and I look forward to what happens next!

  2. I’m getting my 3G 64GB iPad on Friday at around 10 am. Got the Rogers SIM card today. It’s like the countdown to Christmas in a way.

    And my little iPad is quite the world traveller, according to the courier’s tracking information:

    Shenzhen (China) –> Anchorage –> Memphis –> Mississauga –> and finally Calgary!

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