It’s a weird thing with technology. Size matters.
From the deep scientific study I’ve conducted, it seems that when a new technology is introduced it is medium sized. Then bells, whistles, frills, lights, buttons, and sequins are added (just kidding about the sequins) and the size grows. Bigger is better. Bigger means more horsepower, more features, and more testosterone needed to carry the device. Think boom boxes in the late 1900s. If your boom box was big enough to require its own zip code, it was big enough to generate sound waves that loosened building foundations throughout the country. That was good.
It may have been a plot by the Builders and Foundation Reinforcement Committee of America. It certainly wasn’t a musical improvement.
It seems that once technology reaches a certain size, it begins to shrink. Smaller is cooler. Smaller is more compact and petite. Smaller costs more so it must be better.
Then – because Newton said so – for every action there is an equal and opposite technological trend. So technology gets bigger again. Think TVs and cell phones.
This cycle is known as the apple-coaster even though it pre-dates The Steves.
Speaker technology is busy riding the ‘coaster. Once upon a time, personal speakers the size of mountains were envied. Over the years, they’ve shrunk even as sound quality has improved.
Now it’s not only getting smaller, it has a voice.
You’ve probably heard of Amazon Echo. I hadn’t, but I’m not a trendy college student. Echo is a small, artificial intelligence speaker. With an artificially intelligent voice named Alexa.
Because not everyone in the universe has an Echo, Amazon is introducing a smaller (and by “smaller” they mean cheaper) version. The new one is slightly less slick than the original version, but you still get Alexa (just an Alexa who doesn’t listen as much as the original).
I’m waiting for an even smaller (and by “smaller” I mean cheaper) version. I figure I’ll be about ready for it when it’s the size of a fingernail. Of course, at that size I’ll lose it. So maybe not.
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