Anyware... And Make It Easy
That avalanche of adverse outlooks and self-flagellation about user-surly experiences is uncomfortable. The implied ripple effect—costly product returns and unhappy customers—is painful.
We've all heard similar woeful tales—yet we keep the faith that interoperability is looming at last. Sony's Smyers, among others, suggests that the landscape is about to change, thanks to the Digital Home Working Group (DHWG), an alliance of 90 consumer electronics and computer companies that is developing design guidelines. So what we have here is a digital dichotomy. On one hand is the ubiquitous promise of what I'll call "Anyware"—an array of hardware and software solutions that vows to keep us connected via whatever device we choose.
On the other hand is a constant warning from knowledgeable executives that these solutions are still too complicated and not sufficiently reliable. But they'll soon be better.