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What I learned at 2012 CES…

…that you already knew, but don’t yet care about understanding.
create, share, enjoy, save, program, create, enjoy, share, save

Be scared, really scared for the immediate future!
There is a revolution coming, but it a sense it is already here. Reach into your pocket and take a look at your phone. Pick up your Ipad, Android Pad, or Windows Pad, take a look at your “everywhere” computer. You hold it in your hand, you put it in your pocket, you turn it off and on, seemingly in control of the technology you opted into. So you think? You think you are the user and the device is the slave. I will suggest otherwise and that message was quietly the loudest one I heard while moving among the vendors at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.

For the most part, moving about the 2012 CES yielded nothing spectacular. After the first day I decided the show was more hype than substance. News on consumer electronics that matter can be found on any number of CE blogs. “4K” and “8K” televisions do nothing to do with reality since they are like those dream cars at the show, just for fun folks, the dreams of future technology. I saw some old demonstrators rehashed in new displays. For example Panasonic’s 150 inch Plasma, which I saw at the 2008 show, was no longer a stand-alone “ahh” moment. Instead it was built into a massive display of televisions that resulted in it looking unimpressively small. No thrills here folks, for the most part the technology was boring, repetitive and the irritation was compounded with high levels of noise.

The major lesson I took from the 2012 CES is that if consumer electronic and media companies have their way with us, we will all be plugged into the information stream like binary digits. Instead of consuming the Internet, it will be the other way around, the Internet will consume us. That is already changing fast with how we access the Internet and information. The good old days of using the Internet to find information you want are over. Instead, applications, or “apps”, will feed you the data the Internet thinks you want. Furthermore the Internet is no longer this passive library of information. Instead the Internet is a programmed funnel that is learning what you consume and what you might want to consume.

The most active areas at the 2012 CES were the areas where mobile browsers were displayed. The future when it comes to separating you from your money and free will as technology companies see it is via mobile browsing devices. The binary digits are already on the screen. Where you once sat at a computer for a while and then focused on life, you now are tethered to your Ipad, Iphone, Android and for the few die hardy souls, your Blackberry. Yes, many of you are already tethered, tied, handcuffed, melded into your mobile browser device. Many are never away from the “income” stream. There are fewer ways to escape the programming of marketing. The sucking noise you hear is your life being absorbed into the Internet.

The really scary part is that through social media, email, computer browsers and other net based interactions, we have become profiles of information that are used to create our perfect interface with our devices. That device I asked you to pull out your pocket or pick up, knows you better than your doctor. It knows where you work, where you went to school, how much money you spend, how much money you have to spend, where you like to spend it, where you keep it, your children’s names, your dogs names, where you went to school, your favorite color, your favorite beer, burger, television show, all your friends and other stuff you couldn’t begin to calculate if you knew yourself so well.

You are not consuming the Internet, the Internet is consuming you. Strangely, I have to blame this on the Internet because the powers that are behind this aggregation of information are parts of a multi-dimensional puzzle, much like that game of Chess that Spock used to play with Captain Kirk. The difference is that instead of three defined layers, this puzzle is beyond definition and is expanding by the minute.

You are already data in the matrix. Imagine back in the day when we were warned by many that at some point the virtual world would be our real world. You are imagining today. The only difference is that we don’t need to be floating in a 98.6 degree bath of some solution with tubes plugged in and strange goggles covering our eyes. The screens on mobile devices are the world we are being sucked into and those screens are going to be everywhere.

The really scary part of this is that our children have been plugged in now for most of their lives. Imagine children with no idea of what real free will is?