When computers were first introduced, they were enormous. Entire rooms would be dedicated to these technological behemoths with dedicated air conditioning units to keep them cool. But, technology has improved dramatically since then. Electronics have reduced greatly in size while increasing by leaps and bounds in terms of performance. This tech revolution has led to consumer products moving to the sofa and the living room. This article will take a look at some of the more popular consumer electronics available today that can be used comfortably from the sofa.
In June, 2007, Apple changed the mobile phone market with the announcement of the first iPhone. Apple radically reinvented the smartphone ridding it of buttons while adorning it with a full sized touch screen on the front. Along with the hardware redesign, Apple also worked on the software making the iPhone a colossal leap forwards over the smartphones that preceded it. While it was possible to browse the web and view movies and listen to music on older smartphones, it wasn’t easy to do. Apple packed the iPhone with a browser capable of perfectly displaying websites and added in all the functionality of an iPod to boot. It was no longer necessary to sit at a desktop computer to browse the Internet – it was easily done from the comfort of the living room.
Nowadays, the vast majority of smartphones follow the design that Apple popularized. Each phone is more than capable of browsing the Internet, play back video and, due to the increased performance of mobile graphics units, are now able to play video games.
In April, 2010, Apple did it again with the release of the iPad. A fresh take on the tablet computer, Apple took all it had learned about mobile operating systems with the iPhone and applied it to the tablet experience. The increased screen size allowed for better website viewing and the larger size of the unit allowed for more powerful hardware meaning more powerful software and better games. Comfortable to hold and light in weight, the iPad provides a web browsing experience that is more pleasurable than laptops while relaxing on the sofa.
The centerpiece of the living room, the television, has also undergone a revolution in recent times. Gone are the CRT television sets of old – their replacements, Plasma and LCD sets, are thinner, lighter, more affordable and larger screen sizes with much better picture quality. It’s now possible to get a cinema beating experience in the living room.
With the rising popularity of HDTVs came a number of new products to be used in the living room. The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 came out to much applaud with amazing graphics and games on a scale that rivaled the greatest Hollywood blockbuster.
New High Definition media also became available with the advent of Blu-Ray and new HD set top boxes capable of streaming television and films through a fiber optic cable or through the Internet. Video on demand services and recording services such as Virgin TiVo also allow users to record and view content on their own time. Never before has it been easier to watch your favourite programs.
Advents in wireless technology have also led to the ability to stream media from one device to another using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It’s now possible to stream music from a smartphone or tablet directly to a set of speakers without the use of wires.
The tech revolution has started, but it’s far from over. Each year, electronics are getting smaller and more powerful while Internet speeds are quickly increasing. Technology is become easier and more comfortable to use from the sofa. Technological marvels loom on the horizon.
The future looks very bright for the living room electronics enthusiast.