Ever since the passing away of Steve Jobs, we haven’t really seen something “new and exciting” from Apple. The iPhone and the iPad got better, and we now have Apple Watch. Samsung beat Apple to the watch, of course. You probably own more than one watch, so are you really going to buy another just because it promises to keep an eye on your health?
As the tech biggies are wondering what to create next, let me offer a few ideas. I haven’t created any of these products and don’t own any patents — the ideas are all locked away in my head!
Idea #1. Holodecks at home
Star Trek fans will know what a Holodeck is. It is a recreation room in which objects, people and places are virtually created. And you could visit a particular place and have virtual encounters. For instance, a Star Trek crew member could step on a holodeck to go horse riding in Edinburgh or mountain climbing in the Himalayas.
If you want to read more about holodecks go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodeck
We already have technology for large screen, super-wide projection. And holographic laser projection technology has been around for some time. And we have realistic 3D sound technology like Dolby Atmos.
The home entertainment product I am suggesting is a system of mini short-throw projectors deployed around your living room. They could flash a sea-side scene on the living room walls, with realistic moving images and sound. Dim all the lights in your living room, stretch out on a deck chair and pretend that you are on the beach!
Idea #2. Music Cassettes are back in a new avatar – SD cards!
If you were born before the year 2000, you would have seen an audio cassette tape. I loved to create my own mix tapes, buying blanks from Sony, TDK or Maxell and using two tape decks to create my own mix tape. I could listen to them on the go, with my Walkman or in my car.
It was a joy to have my very own collection of selected songs. Now you can do the same by carrying your collection of songs in your phone or MP3 player or tablet.
But I sure do miss the joy of creating compilations of songs on cassettes. Well, I could do the same with SD cards and Micro SD cards if I wanted. I could use Pen Drives.
But why did they forget to include SD card slots in car audio players or in home receivers? I think we should have external SD card slots on mobile phones too, so that we can quickly swap cards (and change our collection of songs on the fly). I know the same can be achieved with playlists on our phones.
Is the consumer electronics industry listening?
Idea #3. Solve the biggest problems in our cities
Focus on new areas like transportation, water supply, energy and sanitation. Can you create products that generate clean energy at home? How about devices that save water and electricity? Look at mass rapid transport — we need this badly in our overcrowded cities. Can you create products that will improve the quality of life for citizens?
Smart cities and Internet of Things are what you should be looking at.
Idea #4. Products for business travelers
Frequent flyers and business travelers need something to help them relax. How about portable feet, head or back massagers? Perhaps a personal entertainment device loaded with all our favorite songs, movies, games and e-books. Something on the lines of the personal entertainment system offered by airlines like Singapore Airlines and Emirates. We are spoiled for choice!
Idea #5. Portable Internet radio
There are numerous Internet radio stations, some dedicated to certain genres of music — or to music from a certain period in time (60s, 70s, 80s etc).
It would be nice to have this music streamed on to portable devices that we carry on the daily commute to work. I know this can be accomplished through mobile apps. But I am suggesting a dedicated Internet radio device with multiple stations.
More ideas coming soon….