Ideas and inventions are merely subjective. Are they too soon? Should they have happened already? Are they too off the mark? Search engine giant Google recently announced that it was in the late stages of designing and developing a car that drives itself. The cars themselves are not manufactured by Google; the cars have internal computers to self-navigate and steer, using a GPS program. Do a search of “Google Car”, and you will find videos of cars on the highway without drivers, camera attached on top. The news has been met with awe and some incredulity.
Of course, technologically pioneering companies venturing off into new territory is nothing new. IPhone anyone? Introduced only in 2007, it seems forever ago now, with all the updates and competition that have come out since. What began as a communication-savvy iTouch has turned into the new standard. Everyone has been looking to catch up, with varied success. The Droid of course has been arguably their biggest competitor. Microsoft is now looking to launch their own brand of phones, giving free copies of their new Windows 7 phone to AT&T employees, who have had their exclusivity to the IPhone tested by rival Verizon Wireless. Verizon has also been in the news of late, with the announcement the carrier should have its own version of the IPhone sometime next year.
How about cable giant Comcast actually buying NBC? Nine months of negotiation led to a $30 billion dollar buyout of NBC Universal, leaving the nation’s largest cable operator owning 51% of its shares and its previous owner, General Electric Company, owning 49%. The venture seems have gone quite smoothly; before the buyout, Comcast customers had to pay a fee to watch NBC shows on demand. They now get to watch them for free. This also made Comcast a big player in the multimedia entertainment industry, giving them a new portfolio of content to add to their list of credits. No longer just a cable provider, they are now also a network provider as well.
After forever changing the way people made phone calls, Apple is now changing the way people read books. Yes, they’re iBooks application is not the first way to read books in digital form, but it’s easily becoming the most popular. The announcement of the iPad back in January of 2010 left many either skeptical or really excited. Its release in early April only solidified Apple’s technological prowess. The device is now the fastest-selling technological gadget in history with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Their iBooks application has become the premier way to read books digitally, as well as a new way for people to read magazines and newspapers. Subscribers can now get them in digital format on the iPad, a certainly easier way to avoid clutter on the coffee table and repeated trips to the recycling bin.
The Google car certainly has caught the public’s interest. The real test will be if the car becomes available for consumers. The idea seems interesting and intriguing enough, but will people really buy a self-driving car? Only time (and pricing) will tell.
David Knowles, “Google Car: 5 Nagging Unknowns”, AOLNews
News Staff, “Apple Reivents the Phone with IPhone”, Apple.com
Tim Aranago, “G.E. Makes It Official: It WIll Sell NBC to Comcast”, the New York Times
Brad Stone, “Live Blogging the iPad Product Announcement”, NYTimes.com
Steven Sande, “It’s offical: iPad now the all-time fastest selling gadget”, TUAW