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Is Tech Navigating a Roundabout Future?

Similar to Clark W. Griswold, the potential technological roundabout ahead may not have the easiest exit strategy. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is still in the TBD phase.

Literally.

But it’s intriguing nonetheless.

The innovative new headquarters for Apple, Inc. (at least there’s still some form of innovation still happening there) is receiving its finishing polishes as I write this sentence and as you are reading this awesomely intriguing sentence. Many have labeled the gigantic circular design as “space-like.” Actually, there’s some credence to that description. Recall the circular, clocklike spaceship in 2014 science-fiction epic Interstellar.

The sleek design and environmentally sustainable compound campus will likely serve as a model for future buildings in myriad industries (possibly including schools?), business mentalities (hopefully, not like the 2017 big brother film The Circle) and, brace yourself…

as a future handheld device?

Rumors surrounding any Steve Jobs-like inventions have been lacking under the Tim Cook era. Apple, for lack of a better word, has been grounded in recent years. Ironic that the new Apple HQ looks like a spaceship, right?

Was that deliberate?

Is it possible that Mr. Cook has been cooking up (had to) a new wave of Apple products right underneath our noses? My random Tuesday, May 16th hypothesis is that Apple might soon be releasing a product or line of new products that utilize the circular structure seen in the video above showcasing Apple’s new HQ in the near future. This is not to say that the next iPhone will be circular, but that some brand new product or series of products just may capitalize on the power of circular motion. Or that a new revolutionary feature in Apple’s products will take on a prominently round shape.

Why not? The symmetry between Apple’s daily lifestyle for its employees at the circular spaceship would be perfectly synched with the gadgets of its tech consumers spread around the globe. Plus, as Apple’s competitors are focused on the rectangular, square-like shapes for its devices, a circular product of some sort would stylistically one-up its rivals.

As they say, you can’t fit a round peg into a square hole.

Or vice-versa.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, could be Apple’s next insanely great competitive advantage.

The Core of Apple’s Genius

An apple rolled into a mall…

This blog has, on many occasions, paid tribute and explored the various reasons how and why Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak revolutionized the world with their visionary technology. Lightning in a bottle is being modest when discussing that small tech company known as Apple. Equal to its imaginative quality and inventive prowess is the seamless accessibility of the insanely great products in its store.

Apple, in somewhat groundbreaking fashion, popularized the modern mentality that its store patrons ask questions. Lots of questions. Apple’s retail culture encourages curiosity with current and potential customers. Most retail store employees (regardless of industry) will answer a few inquiries, but ultimately expect a purchase of an item or items. In other words, a more linear business model. Interestingly, the Apple store was envisioned with practice and learning in mind. Technology is a complicated field and perhaps the real genius behind the Cupertino, California-based company is not with its informative bar, but instead with its inviting culture to all those intrigued by its line of cool products.

15 years ago, the Apple store was conceptualized into an exciting reality.

The come in, sit down and stay awhile attitude altered the shopping and browsing in a mall paradigm from being more directly motivated by total sales towards a more indirect connection with customers who are returning and who are new, leading to another sale or a first sale. This is not to suggest that Apple store employees aren’t clever salespersons. Quite the contrary. However, the way they are presenting and promoting their products, and more importantly their brand, is the impressive change agent.

As technology continues to transform individuals and societies into digital ecosystems, let’s not forget the late Steve Jobs believed in bridging the past and future together and not apart. Like the Apple store, if the personal connection is the overarching priority in collaboration with its product offerings, then innovation will not only take flight, but exceed all perceived expectations.

This way, the conversation between business and customer continues far into the future.

That’s just one reason why millions of people pick-up an apple Apple each day. 

An Epic Return for the Rocket Man

While this inquisitive thought was born from almost complete randomness, it does actually make logical sense. Bear with me.

Remember, “The Rocketeer” from 1991?

First of all, could a remake or sequel work after all these years? Second, if so, what if Christopher Nolan directed and wrote it with his team of A-list writers and producers?

This could be his team’s chance to tell the story of a hero as opposed to a deeply conflicted anti-hero. The hero, Cliff Secord, would still have internal dilemmas, but he would fit more with a traditional hero within the Nolan-world of cinema.

“Man of Steel” and “Gravity” took flying in cinema to new some new heights this year with memorable sequences, like when Superman puts his fist to the ground seconds before he blasts up into the sky. Watching him burst through the clouds was an utterly fantastic sight. The realism was sublime. The sequences between these two films alone beg the question of what would “The Rocketeer” look like in this “epic age” of film making?

Christopher Nolan is currently making a film about space travel called, “Interstellar.” Is it too far a stretch to transition from this scenario to filming a man with a flying rocket?

Part of what makes this daydreaming idea so intriguing is knowing how successful the original movie was more than two decades ago, before IMAX and 3D became virtually mainstream tools in the movie industry. Imagine sitting in a movie theater surrounded by a pulsating soundtrack scored by Hans Zimmer that tracks Cliff Secord flying in the biggest aerial playground ever conceived with a powerfully engaging back story, enemies of “Dark Knight”-caliber and perfectly injected, mind-blowing plot twists.

The possibilities…

Christopher Nolan has proven his directorial and storytelling forte and magic for re-imagining a popular franchise with his new, modern take on Batman and Gotham City. He then helped Zack Snyder produce, “Man of Steel.” Both the Batman trilogy and the first of at least a two movie franchise for Superman achieved surreal success at the box office worldwide.

Back on September 5th, Entertainment Weekly’s Grady Smith reported the soaring success of, “Man of Steel,” with a global box office that exceeded $650 million.

Of course, “The Dark Knight” trilogy easily surpassed the billion dollar mark in the global box office.

Simply crazy success.

Again, this is merely a random vision. The reality of this Nolan-Rocketeer partnership happening may be just as impossible as a man flying through the skies with a personalized golden rocket pack…

Still, when listening to songs from the “Dark Knight” and “Man of Steel” soundtracks and then listening to the soundtrack from “The Rocketeer” by James Horner, it’s almost impossible not to dream about the surreal treatment given to Cliff Secord by Hans Zimmer and Christopher Nolan/Syncopy Inc.

Watching a potentially epic partnership on an IMAX screen in a movie theater. Well, I don’t know about you, but that’s already got my attention.

If a sequel or remake to, “The Rocketeer” ever does happen, then hopefully movie theaters will be fully stocked for selling gum.

Beemans anyone?

Walking into a Movie (Literally)

For some, 3D is a difficult entertainment medium to endure. It’s completely understandable. Still, for those who do or can enjoy the three dimensional interactive movie-watching experience, what’s exciting is thinking what could be coming to a theater near you in the not so distant future…

Just contemplating how awesome seeing “Gravity” in IMAX 3D will be, it stirred up a wild and crazy idea. Though it has been done before at theme parks to some degree, imagine movie theaters that, for special screenings or major premiers of particular movies, are customized to the sounds, sights and settings of the anticipated blockbuster movie.

For example: say that for “Jurassic Park,” the theater showing this epic film in 4D would be decorated like the jungle and compound of Isla Nublar with a few surprises for the moviegoers. As opposed to strictly sitting and watching the movie, a 4D screening would provide the audience with more of an experience, while not detracting from the cinematic storytelling on-screen.

In this reality, the audience would truly transport to the world of the specific movie. Maybe a little wind, mist, ground shaking, or mysterious breathing from a prehistoric creature…

The theater set design would need to flow from the major studio for authenticity, effectiveness and creativity, but the possibilities for certain movies could redefine the power (and feel) of certain blockbusters.

If you’ve been to a theme park and gone on a ride based on a popular movie, imagine that experience but slightly toned down and/or customized for a movie theater. What’s paramount is not to disrupt or distract from the storytelling and acting, but simply to enhance and to gently play with our senses. Immersion is the key to this concept.

It’s important to note that movie theaters are already expensive, as has been mentioned in this blog previously. The cost from production studios to achieve this groundbreaking dynamic may be difficult, but if there is a way that this kind of promotion could give the movie and the studios a great return on investment (plus fan satisfaction), then surely they will quickly adopt the spirit of “why not?”

If this can be accomplished, then is there really anything holding the movie industry back in the future?

Talk about a break from the constraints of cinematic gravity.

The sky really could be the limit…and not just for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.