Communications and marketing and computing in general is moving beyond the keyboard and text faster and faster. PC and laptop sales continue to decline EXCEPT for 2-in-1s (those laptops that fold into tablets) and hybrids (Microsoft Surface tablets, ipads with keyboards). What’s coming in their place?
In the home, Amazon’s Echo platform (Alexa!) has audio and video models. Google Home does, as well. Facebook is rolling out Portal. All of these respond to your voice.
Mobile phones are VERY close to rolling out foldable phones (think of a book opening) that will usher in a different kind of visual platform. Samsung’s model was briefly demonstrated recently:
In light of this, companies like Snap (makers of Snapchat, which I tend to say bad things about in general) are rethinking their “vertical only” requirements, just like Instagram did a year or two ago, switching from “square only” to “okay, whatever works.”
But with a LOT more voice-controlled systems and keyboard-less interaction and TONS of video seeking to replace text (like this blog post), one concern people keep voicing (and it’s valid) is that we don’t really want to watch video if the sound will bother the people around us. (Okay, yes, there are often jerks who ignore this and play videos anyway, but I don’t mean them).
In Your Ear
Just like Altoids brought a new category to light with “premium mints” because of the rise of Starbucks, I believe that bluetooth earbuds (like the Apple airpod) are going to be a LOT more ubiquitous. I have Google Pixel buds (I don’t recommend them). I found these affordable earbuds with lots of great ratings. I think a lot of the future will be in your ear.
But this means something else.
You know how podcasts seem to be going through their second Renaissance? I think it’ll happen even more. I believe that the audio form AND the video form will thrive. If we evolve our use cases to have a more visual device and personalized speakers, it means we’ll have more audio as well.
The future might well be in your ear.
What Will Suffer?
“Oh nonsense, Chris. I *love* to read.”
You do. You.
The stats say people (in the US, at least) are reading a TOTAL of 19 minutes a day between email/texts/websites and so on. At the same time, we are consuming digital media on an average of 6 hours a day. If we’re online for 6 hours but only 19 minutes on average is reading… uh, where is everyone?
Video. And audio.
You Want to Reach People? Get In Their Ear
It’s just not really an option any longer. That’s where it’s at. Sorry.
Okay, books are a different matter. In fact, PHYSICAL books are outpacing digital books in sales numbers lately. But don’t think of blogs as books. Don’t think that the platform matters. Medium is seeing a lot of attention right now. LinkedIn is cool. Blah blah blah. OVERALL, the larger world not just us nerds… it’s in the ear.
Get there. 🙂