I feel like I’m in the big leagues or something now. I’ve been to my first high profile presentation. Looking at the pictures of the Apple presentations, I feel like I know what it would be like to attend something such as that now. There was quite a few police officers milling around and the media was all over the place. As Bill Gates stepped out onto the stage, those cameras all went off like some model photo shoot. It was pretty exciting to say the least.
He talked about the direction he sees technology progressing and how Microsoft is influencing that. He sees the next 10 years to be more revolutionary than the last 30 years of software has been. That’s quite the statement, but after some of the things he showed off, I don’t doubt it. I’ve been Microsoft-brainwashed! Surprisingly, I didn’t see a bunch of guys show up in linux shirts. I definitely expected that.
So I got to see a live Xbox360 demo which was damn impressive. Now I’m not a big gamer myself, which is why the other multimedia capabilities really made it for me. The ability to turn your living room into a digital entertainment zone with the Xbox360 (and presumably the PS3 as well) would be highly enticing for me. He showed how you could easily connect your mp3 player or digital camera and access everything through the Xbox. Then you could play your music and browse your photos. The photo browser was especially slick and looked very professional. Definitely an exciting product.
But perhaps the most interesting and impressive piece of technology he showed off there was a prototype they’re working on. Ok, so you have a cell phone with web abilities and so forth. But the screen’s like 1.5 inches. That’s terrible for tying to do anything too productive internet-wise on your phone. So what do you do on the go? So here’s the vision. Say you’re in an airport. These airports would have these ‘digital surfaces’. Basically there’s a camera setup that can see all your commands. You plop your cell phone down on the table. The camera scans it and then can log you into your phone with your thumbprint. A projector then projects your phone’s screen onto the table surface, giving you a much larger image to work with. You can just interact with the ‘table’ instead of the actual phone. So you got a business card from a potential customer? Well throw that card down into the work area that’s projected. The camera automatically scans the text card, retrieves information from it, converts it into a digital version and stores it into your phone’s contact list. You don’t have to type anything. When you’re done, just pick up your phone and it automatically logs you off. Pretty spiffy huh?
With these new technologies and the advancement in the internet, Bill Gates is predicting the demise of the television and the phone. Voice over IP (VoIP) will replace phones as the preferred method of voice communications and instead of waiting for that show you come on, Thursday at 8PM, you can stream it over the internet whenever you want. So you’re more into politics? Or perhaps sports. All of these preferences can be input into the system that then retrieves these things from the net for you. And all of it will be in high definition. You may have heard the fight between HD-DVDs and BluRay. Bill said that that will be the last physical media. Everything in the future will be digital sent through the internet. I’m looking forward to these things. I can’t wait until we’re away from the old 640×480 or whatever resolution.
Oh and does anyone remember my idea for a tablet device that would replace textbooks, binders, folders and all that? Bill Gates said the same thing today. He said that with advancements in technology, tablets can be used in the educational environment to replace all of the above at a lower cost. He also mentioned that once you go into a class, there’d be a virtual network sort of thing where the instructor can use the technology to enable us to be more efficient. I could hardly believe what I was hearing because it so coincided with what I want to happen. Of course, I’m sure he thought of it way before me, but it’s nice to know I can think just like Bill Gates. =P
And after that presentation, I had an interview for a co-op job. I’m honestly not sure how to guage it. I think I did okay, however the interview was very technical. The interviewer specifically said to me before the actual interview that the questions he asked were the same for co-op students as for actual full time applicants. Thus, he didn’t expect me to be able to answer all of them. And I definitely wasn’t able to answer all of them, but even for the ones I couldn’t answer with any actual fact or knowledge, I tried to decipher through logic. I think that may have impressed him since I BS’ed through a couple of the questions and actually came out with the right answer. So while my knowledge isn’t extremely broad in the internet communcations field, I can learn that. Problem solving skills and logic are much harder things to learn. We’ll see how it goes.
Hope you had a good day too! 😉