business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Boston Globe reports that “the connected home” – in which all the various computerized devices in one’s house talk to each other and help to coordinate the owner’s life – is getting closer to becoming more than just myth.

The first step is to actually allow television sets to communicate. The Globe writes, “Today, Comcast Corp. rolls out in Massachusetts a service that allows customers to start watching an On Demand program on the couch in the living room, then move to another room to finish the show on another TV with a digital cable box. Verizon already allows its television customers to record programming on a digital video recorder on one TV, but then watch it on another set in the house. Verizon also lets people look at photos or listen to digital music collections stored on their computers through their televisions, and has Web-connected widgets that show up on the TV, displaying traffic or weather.”

Or, one could imagine, information from local retailers about nutrition, diet, or just specials.

KC's View:
This story grabbed my attention because it was less than two weeks ago that a Connecticut technology company called Ikan Systems announced that it is working with D'Agostino's Supermarkets to roll out a new system that will, among other things, allow shoppers to scan food products at home, create a shopping list, transmit that list to the retailer, and then have the products delivered.

This is all part of the connected household, all part of the same technological continuum. And we all ought to be paying close attention, and figuring out both strategically and tactically where we fit.

The temptation, especially during down economic times such as we now are experiencing, will be to put such considerations on the back burner. But none of us can afford to ignore this technological stew altogether…even if on the back burner, this pot needs to be stirred and watched. Carefully.

One expert tells the Globe that we’re in a technological marathon, and only one mile in at that. But as someone who has run two marathons, I can tell you that each mile is important…because if you don't finish one, you can't do the next one. It is all about creating both balance and momentum…and one cannot survive without the other.