Posted By Rick Saletta on 10/06/2017 at 11:43PM
It used to be cool to be on the cutting edge. But today, it makes more sense for consumers to follow the experience of others rather than take the lead and the risk that comes with early adoption. For these reasons, educated early adopters are fleeing en-mass to the early and late majority, delaying the adoption of IoT and smart home devices, thereby preventing these companies from crossing Moore’s chasm in the time frame specified by their investors.
These consumers don’t purchase and they don’t always vote, especially when presented with two increasingly similar, but unsatisfactory, choices. Meanwhile, the classic adoption curve is skewing toward the middle of the curve, the mass market and the laggards segment, as new products that track your every move continue to be introduced while offering questionable value propositions to the buyer. It’s still cool to be smart but now it’s smart to be a late!
While there are some great new IoT Smart Home devices becoming available, including the Amazon Echo 2nd Generation, the Liftmaster 8500 Direct Drive Garage Door Opener and the Rachio 2nd Generation Smart Sprinkler control as the names suggest, these are no longer first generation technologies. Future products that incorporate AI enabled services should offer greater value propositions but they are not quite here yet.
Antennas: Cut the cable cord and switch to back to an antenna. With proper mounting, you can receive the major content delivery networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS, for free. An OTA HD antenna often delivers a higher quality HD picture than Comcast and the other cable TV providers while using the remote control that actually came with your TV, not the one that tracks your every click. You will receive every broadcast NFL game that is not restricted to the pay-per-view NFL Network or ESPN. Plus, you can give back the set-top boxes, incompatible tracking remotes and extra coax cables while avoiding the routine over-billing and poor customer service.
CDs: Why settle for a 99¢ DRM restricted MP3 from the iTunes store when for a penny more, you can buy the entire album on CD and auto-rip it into iTunes or Songbird, giving you ~12 full audio-range AIFF files for your new HD Audio capable mobile device and bluetooth speakers. Think about it, no more iTunes store login errors!
BluRays & DVDs: Regaining popularity with the cord cutters and Comcast haters, for $1-$5, you can watch the movies that Netflix aged out in fully decompressed, Dolby surround sound without using up your data plan or getting your home internet connection throttled. Or, rip the disc onto your mobile device or laptop and you can take it with you and watch what you want on the plane or in the hotel.
Coffee Makers: What is the point of a remotely programmable, smart coffee maker if it does not refill itself with water?
PlayStations & Video Game Consoles: Latest generation video games have always been expensive running from $15-$50 each. While the PlayStation 3 was an architectural and short lived silo, PlayStation 2 games and consoles cost about 75% less. If you don’t mind that the MLB and MLS players have been traded to other teams and you don’t need online chat with your friends during the game, the experience is fairly similar. Last I heard, Messi still plays for Barcelona. Finally, older game controllers often lack the complexity of their newer counterparts, giving Dad’s a chance to win.
Fishing Rods and Golf Clubs: IM6 graphite shafts are still the industry standard, and if you haven’t figured out by now, buying the latest technology will not lower your handicap or catch you more fish.
Navigation Systems: “I wasn’t texting officer, I was looking at Waze.” Most cars on the lot today have integrated audio and navigation systems. But, the integrated user interfaces are awkward and difficult to manage while driving. And if you listen to a lot of music while driving, having independent, dedicated controls is both easier and potentially safer. Sure add-on devices are a little clunky, but, an older generation TomTom or Garmin includes lifetime maps and traffic updates that do not require or drain your cell phone’s battery and data plan.
Laptop Computers: Giving way to tablet innovation, the most recent generations of laptops, Mac or Windows, do not perform that much faster than their predecessors, mostly running on different variants of the Intel i7 processor. Furthermore, the new "candy glass" iphone-like touch screens are glossy, causing more rapid eye fatigue than their anti-glare predecessors. If you really want a faster computer, add some new tech to your old machine. Solid State Drives seem expensive, at first, but greatly outperform hard drives in terms of speed, reliability and reduced power consumption. Replace your hard drive with an SSD and benefit from faster, quieter, cooler performance as well as extended battery life.
Refrigerators: I’m still waiting for Samsung's inside sales to email a reply to me explaining the value proposition of the touch screen on the front of their new model, wifi refrigerators. When I find one, I'll let you know.
Slingbox M1 or older: Don’t buy the newest M2 model. It only subjects you to increased and unwanted advertising with no additional value proposition for the consumer.
Tablet Computers: Marshmallow (Android v6) added more granular privacy controls to the settings. But, I’m still not sure why I need Android Nougat or Android Oreo. The last time I migrated to a newer tablet, the Google migration tool only installed a third of the apps that needed to be migrated. It just wasn't worth the time.
Toasters: Press button to toast. It still works.
Televisions: If you have or are considering reading glasses, you probably don’t need 4K.