What’s Next After Blu-Ray?

I was in a Sony store last night. Walking through the mall, I was lured in by the glossy TV screens and the idea of potentially making the move from DVD to Blu-Ray. I’ve never owned an Blu-Ray player and, to be honest, have been somewhat skeptical whether Blu-Ray will quickly replace the ubiquitous DVD format.

The sales rep. that chatted me up was, unsurprisingly, enthusiastic about the quality that Blu-Ray delivers. This same salesperson also told us that we should expect to pay $60 for an HDMI cable. Ouch.

Nevertheless, I didn’t walk home with a Blu-Ray player. But I did start doing some reading. Are retailers pushing Blu-Ray players on their customers to support the new format? Can an up-converting DVD player suffice for now? And the even bigger question: what’s next after Blu-Ray?

My intuition tells me that the USB Flash Drive format may be a viable alternative. We already have Flash Drives which can hold ample data. To put it in perspective, a standard DVD holds 4.7 GB of data, a Blu-Ray disk holds 25GB (or 50GD if dual-layer). USB Flash Drives have come down in price and gone up in capacity. If you really need the space, you can even get them as large as 256GB, more than five times the storage capacity of a double layer Blu-Ray disk. Optical disk readers, e.g. Blu-Ray, DVD and CD players, are inherently fragile and sensitive to heat, condensation, and dust. USB Flash is more robust, and certainly more portable.

So the question remains, what’s next after Blu-Ray? Will it be a new optical disk technology, such as Holographic Versatile Disk (HVD). Or will it be a type of card or portable thumb drive? And don’t forget, there’s also the possibility that we may soon just be downloading all of our data heavy content from the cloud, e.g. like renting movies via iTunes.

Any bets on the future of Blu-Ray?

What is Google Wave (2 minute video)

Google Wave has been the talk of the town over the past few days. Techies everywhere have been clamoring to the 100,000 invites which were sent out last week. It has been a trending topic on Twitter and the first reviews are coming in. As luck would have it, I`m not one of the fortunate 100,000 who received an invite, and can`t give my own opinion on it yet. But if you`re looking for a quick, simple explanation of how Wave may change the world as we know it, check out this video from EpipheoStudios.com.

And if you`re very patient, remember that there is still the original video: Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009 which runs at just over 80 minutes.

Reviews of Google Wave to date have been mixed. Here are what some influential bloggers are saying:

It will be good for CMOs, but it won’t replace social media favorites among the masses. – Steve Rubel on Forbes.com

Google Wave crashes on beach of overhype – Robert Scoble on Scobleizer.com

…extremely stable and much faster than anticipated. For a “preview” release, Wave is very good, especially considering the complexity that is involved. – Louis Gray on louisgray.com

David Pogue on TED: Cool Phone Tricks

It’s been a while since I’ve written a full blog post, while looking down at my last couple of posts which have simply embedded videos. And when this latest idea came to me, I felt guilty for once again taking the “easy” route of just republishing information. But this one is too good to pass up.

At Enquiro, we have something called TED Tuesdays. We take our bagged lunches and sit down in our boardroom while watching the latest and greatest from …TED. This past week we watched David Pogue’s rant and rave on mobile phone technology. Pogue, a technology columnist for the New York Times, gives us a presentation that resonates with anyone who has ever owned a cell phone, and he delivers it his way, with humor and musical style.