retail news in context, analysis with attitude


by Kevin Coupe

Content Guy’s Note: Below is a commentary on the same subject as the video piece, but it isn’t word-for-word the same. You can look at both, or either...it is up to you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.

There were three stories that came out while I was on vacation that seemed indicative of how fast things are changing, and how things that so many of us took for granted may simply no longer be so anymore. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon .... but not forever, because inevitably change will rear its head again and once again surprise us.

For one thing, there was a story saying that those heavy bags that airline pilots carry with them whenever they fly - 40 pound bags, as it happens - apparently won’t be required equipment anymore. The reason? All that information, considered absolutely imperative for pilots to have with them while flying, can be put on an iPad, where it is not only more easily accessible, but also more easily updated. It also is good for the pilots’ health, because they don;t have to lug that bag around anymore; the airlines testing the system say that it also will save fuel because they’re eliminating weight from the aircraft.

The only thing I can’t quite figure out is why pilots are allowed to keep them on while they’re taking off and landing, and I can’t read a book on my iPad. But maybe they’ll figure that out, too, one of these days.

There was another story along the same lines, saying that an item that we all take for granted as part of our daily lives is headed for eventual extinction: the key.

That’s right. The New York Times reported that the technology exists that allows people to lock and unlock their doors using a coded and secure iPhone application. After all, why not? OnStar already does it with car doors, so why should I not be able to open up my office or house using my iPhone?

A fair amount of infrastructure change has to take place for this to become commonplace, but apparently a lot of people in the know think this is a slam-dunk...so many people have smart phones, and the penetration of this technology grows every day, and so they think acceptance will be relatively swift.

And the status quo will take one more hit.

And finally, there was a Times story the other day about how tablet computer technology, especially the iPad, is changing the way young kids interact with books. Instead of just having paper and ink, books on a tablet computer can be highly interactive, can provide audio narration, interactive artwork, related videos and a host of other applications that can improve and augment the reading experience.

I get a little nervous about this, simply because I’d like to think that the act of reading should be entertaining and engaging enough ... but kids are different, and anything we can do to help engage them with books and the whole process of learning probably is a good thing. And it’ll be interesting to see how the process also is adapted more and more to all forms of literature.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether I’m nervous about this or not. These things are happening.

We all have a choice. We can resist these changes, or we can embrace them and get excited about how they can change our lives and businesses.

I vote for the latter. Because ultimately, I think it is all really cool. And I’m a sucker for a new experience.

That’s what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I’d like to hear what is on your mind.
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