I’ve blogged about many different disruptive consumer technologies. I’ve blogged about VOIP telephone services (which is an over-the-top way of replacing a traditional landline). I’ve blogged about streaming media sticks such as the Amazon Fire TV stick, the Roku stick, and the Chromecast stick. I’ve blogged about the Tablo, a television receiver and digital video recorder that permits time-shifting and place-shifting your viewing of broadcast television programs.
What’s pretty interesting, I think, is what all of these technologies have in common. Of course one thing they all have in common is that they rely on internet connectivity. But the other thing they all have in common is their bland, featureless, nondescript boxes.
The boxes look boring. Each box has some kind of power connection and a way to connect to the internet. Maybe one or two blinky lights. One or two other connectors. And that’s it. These little devices are likely to decimate landline telephone companies, satellite TV companies, and other very large, very well established companies, through destructive use of over-the-top and cord-cutting internet services. And yet if one of these devices happened to be on a desk or table, you might glance past it because it does not look like much of anything.