By the time you read this, you will have seen in the new year – hopefully without headaches of course. In a tech sense, 2018, unfortunately, will bring more of the same only faster, cheaper, better – which also happens to be NASA’s mantra from the early 1990s.

Meanwhile,  GadgetGuy Val Quinn is jetting off to CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, and we will report on all that is new and exciting – or will it be so?

CES is the global stage for innovation. It is a lofty goal now that the tech world is divided solidly into Windows versus Mac, Android versus iOS, and pretty well nothing else matters.

Please excuse some levity here but I am a fan of Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and I asked Marvin, the dour, pessimistic robot, or GPP (Genuine People Personality) to provide his view on CES 2018.

Marvin: “Incredible… it’s even worse than I thought it would be.”

Either Apple’s Steve Jobs was brilliant and so far ahead of his time – yes, he was – or the rest of the world is just plain lazy. Not one smartphone has since beaten Apple’s iconic design and grand plan, yet it too has suffered from a dearth of new thinking in recent years – evolution – not revolution.

Every flagship smartphone has a similar check-list. The real innovation will be in making a smartphone for the masses a.k.a. Henry Ford’s Model T.

Marvin: The first ten million years were the worst. And the second ten million… they were the worst too. The third ten million I didn’t enjoy at all. After that, I went into a bit of a decline.

What is wrong with the world, where are the bold, mad scientists whose whacky ideas stretch the imagination? Last year at CES we saw fewer start-ups than the year before. Will this trend continue?

I am not trying to channel Steve Jobs, but I am sure his iPhone of today would have been more than a phone, camera, media player, GPS, and an advertising server.

Steve would have built a phone that would have been wearable, probably component based, certainly with innovations like fold/roll out screens, and frankly, it would have added more to our lives than to be a vehicle to access Facebook. Steve’s iPhone would have become indispensable, our very raison d’être.

 

Zaphod Beeblebrox: Into the interior of the planet. That is where we have to go. Down into the very depths of time itself where no man has trod these five million years. We are not gonna be great. We are not gonna be amazing. We are gonna be amazingly amazing!

Marvin: Sounds awful.