The first International CES debuted 41 years ago. Since then technology has made great strides, introducing a plethora of innovative products that not even George Orwell could have predicted. The 1970s were the information decade. The average household owned just 1.3 technology devices, and consumer technologies were largely used to receive information. Families gathered around a television or radio at a set time for the latest news and entertainment.
The 1980s introduced the productivity decade. The technology industry unveiled the mobile phone and the personal digital assistant (PDA). The fax machine took off and software began leveraging the awesome power of the personal computer.
The productivity decade led to the digital decade of the 1990s. Moore’s Law catapulted the technologies of the previous decade into homes across America. Traditional distribution was supplemented—and in some instances supplanted—with digital distribution. The proverbial “e” became a common preface to differentiate this new distribution from what had existed, in some cases, for thousands of years: e-mail, e-faxes, e-commerce. And, of course, digital television burst onto the scene.
In each sequential decade, technology has built on the progress and advances made in the previous decade. The 2000s combine elements of each decade preceding it. This decade, however, is also more than just additional information, new productivity enhancements and greater digital reach. The 2000s have become the connecting decade for consumer technologies. People are now using hardware and software to connect to devices and other people.
The connecting decade is changing how we connect to content. For example, 50 percent of households today physically move digital content from one room to the next when they want to transfer those files within the home. Twenty-one percent of households physically move the device when they want to move the content into another room. About 23 percent of households’ preferred method for distributing files around the home is through a central storage device.