Aris Silzars Display Technology Consulting




A Future We Could Have Had by Now…

Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity and challenge to put into operation several new computers and then to make them work with new and existing printers, cameras, scanners, and various displays – including large screen televisions. And what a frustrating and time consuming experience it has been! Perhaps frustrating is even an understatement. Why should it take so much time, effort, and emotional stress to get a computer to recognize a printer and vice versa? Why do I need to hunt up a “Network Key” and enter it manually? Why do I need to struggle with a “format unrecognized” problem on a new large-screen “smart” TV? Shouldn’t there be an easier way?

Just about every new electronics product now claims to be “smart”. The “Internet of Things” is supposed to be the wave of the future. So why should it take so much effort and frustration to get commonly used devices to talk to each other? It shouldn’t be that way. And here is why.

If we were simply to give each device its own universally recognizable “phone number” and it was printed on the identifier tag that shows the model and serial number, any computer could simply “call up” the product and the connection would be established immediately. If the device needs to get on to my network, I should be able to simply enter the “phone number” of my network and the new printer would again be instantly “installed”.

Of course this may not be as much fun for the marketing departments of the new “smart” products because it may limit how much promotional stuff they can push our way. As I am sure you have noticed the current install disks are just chock full of attempts to get us to buy into various data mining and sales efforts and to sneak a toolbar onto our computer screens that ties us permanently to these promotional efforts.

So why aren’t we already living in this simple and elegantly interconnected future – and are we likely to have it anytime soon? The realistic answer is that this will probably not happen any time soon. Even though the technology is no more complicated than each of us having an e-mail address or a phone number, there seems to be no organization or government entity that is interested in making life easier for consumers. At one time in its past, Microsoft could have promoted such an approach and was sufficiently dominant that it could have made it happen. But no longer. There are now other major competing forces and other large players that make such a cooperative effort unlikely.

Also, it seems that we consumers have become desensitized and have been lulled into accepting the unnecessary complications that “smart” devices are imposing on us. Have the “smart” devices figured out how to train us to do the interconnection work for them? What an interesting outcome! Our lives were supposed to be made easier by all these new capabilities but instead we have ended up being servants to the devices instead.

I would be interested to hear of your experiences in inter-device communications. Or perhaps you are a “smart” device and would like to provide a contrary explanation. In either case, you may reach me directly from this site, or by phone at 425-898-9117.


19916 NE 30th Ct. Sammamish, WA 98074 Call 425.898.9117

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