Wednesday, July 8, 2015

On Cybernetic Implants and Ultron

What’s the next big thing in news media technology?

I can’t predict what it could be, but I can predict what it has to be. The next big thing in news media technology will be the one that keeps convenience to the reader in mind. Under this premise, various media platforms used today will likely exist tomorrow in some incarnation, since news consumption is intertwined with a reader’s daily habits.

“The news media will have to adapt what they do to our behavior, because we no longer have to fit our behavior to their cycles,” said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute, at a 2013 TEDx conference in Atlanta.

Radio didn’t completely supplant newspapers. Television didn’t completely supplant radio. The internet didn’t completely supplant everything.

These media platforms still exist—perhaps to a lesser degree—because each has its place in someone’s daily routine. It’s still convenient to read the morning paper with breakfast, listen to the radio on the morning drive to work and watch TV at the dinner table. It’s also still convenient to read news online on a computer or tablet during work breaks (slack time).

Today, digital technology has allowed us to enjoy these activities on one device—the smartphone. This innovation, however, did not render the other platforms extinct like 8-track tapes or Betamax. Despite its portability, not everybody likes or has the ability to read news or watch TV on 5.5 inch screens.

In the end, I don’t know if cybernetic implants or Ultron will usher a new age of news media technology. I can say that technological advancement catering to reader ease and convenience will.

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