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March 15, 2015

Getting The Business

The New Media Hub? Your Car

One of the things I find refreshing about the New Media business publications is their ranks seem to be filled with folks who grew up with a C64, played intellivision until their eyes hurt, and then played some more. Squinting.

Gartner Group, a company that makes its shekels reading the tea leaves for the fortune 500, has seen the in-car computer and said it was good. I've read some of their publications and have never seen them to be lacking in the research department. I've also checked out some of their older dot-com boom era papers and guess what, they said the end was near. They may be going out pretty far on a techie limb by stating that 9 million cars will have broadband access as of 2020. Consider where we were 15 years ago... The computational equivalent of banging rocks together. I think I get their optimism.

What I would like to see in these articles is the grumblings of a formation of some sort of standards group. In the gelatinous phase this technology is in right now, what could be more appropriate than having a bunch of new-pundits squabble over protocols? I don't know much but I do know that technology wants to run free and pee on the carpet if you let it. I'd be in favor of a standards committee even if it were powerless and only got together to play golf, go to strip clubs and drink martinis. Then again we don't need a committee to do that... I'm still working out the kinks in my plan.

The very interesting point in the article is in the convergence of media into the car, where it goes, how to get it there, who the players will be and what it will cost. Comcast wants in in a bad way but the "cart-it-to-my-car-via-plane-train-WiFi-raft" method leaves me wanting. Perhaps their implementation will be a few generations ahead of anything Scientific Atlanta has had to offer. It will need to be if they want to join in the electric reindeer games.

DirecTV has a very good place in all of this. If they can get a 12" X 4" or better auto-tracking antenna for roof-top mounting or even better a little XM style dingus, they might beat all of the operators before the gate drops.

XM will be the narrowcast king. They already deliver traffic data to the Acura RL. How cool is GPS with a traffic overlay? That's the future. That's useful. Pharos offers the same gig for your phone and PDA. I like those Pharos folks, they need to get in with the automakers before the OEMs have all taken sides and they are left out.

Sirius, I don't know. $500 Mil to Howard Stern? Can they, with 1.2M customers support his pale white expensive ass? I don't see good things for the KOAM. Sure, FM is dead dead dead and no amount of "digital radio over FM" is going to bring it back. Satellite radio is commercial free. Clear Channel, you might become the lonely broadcaster if you don't jump in, buy Sirius and somehow boot Stern. Ok, I actually find his stuff funny sometimes but the daily stripper IQ test, drunken midgets and stupid homeless people tricks just don't do it for me. Don't get me wrong, as much as I want to say I listen to NPR in the morning, I cant. I watch Tivo'd shows from the night before like Big Break 3, Alias, Super Nanny and of course Desperate Housewives. C'mon, why are you looking at me like that?

Posted by Lionel Felix at March 15, 2015 10:03 PM

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