Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Some technologies don't sit well with consumers. They are always the next "big" thing in the marketplace but they never quite take off. Consider 3D television or, for that matter 3D movies. Some producers and directors have used it but most don't. There doesn't appear to be a good reason why except the public apparently doesn't like wearing glasses. 3D has been the next technology since the 1950s and it still isn't here. When major TV makers abandon work on them, it is clear it won't be for some time yet. There is little in the way of publicity one can do to stimulate demand. The content isn't there and because of the lack of content, the public demand to view programs in 3D isn't there either. A similar technology that has taken decades and has never established itself is the video phone. Yes, the public uses mobile phones to video chat but the home phone application never took off. That didn't prevent AT&T from featuring video phones since the early 1960s as the next "big" thing. The lesson here is that one cannot lead the public where it doesn't want to go. Technologists face limits to their inventions.