Finding a movie based on a Philip Dick novel was not that difficult. My husband is a huge fan of these stories, and so I simply had to choose from what he already had on the shelf. I selected the movie “Paycheck” and watched it a little differently. Rather than simply watching as one seeking to be entertained, I focused on the technologies that were seen in the film. From this point of view, I found that the various technologies were just as fascinating as the storyline itself.
I have to note here that my family is an odd mix of techno-geek and old-fashioned. We enjoy being able to order some movies from online services such as NetFlix, but still prefer to purchase some movies on DVD because we enjoy them. Although I am new to this community I now live in, I have not seen any video stores. What seems to be prevalent is the “Red Box” at the local Walmart and Walgreen’s stores. Additionally, one local company that provides television and internet offers a service that allows you to “rent” a movie through their company. These rentals usually last two days and just require you push a button to view the films.
Although many people do take advantage of the ability to download movies, the popularity of DVDs has not seemed to wane very much. However, the competition between the Video rental store and Videos on Demand (VOD) is a good example of increasing returns. This simply means that one service is superior and forces the other into extinction (Laureate Education, Inc., 2009). In this case, the VOD has nearly caused the video store to completely disappear. A video rental store used to be on every corner. Today, the rental stores are few and far between. Instead, people can rent movies from home or as they leave Walmart with their groceries.
It is interesting to look back to see the changes, and then turn our eyes forward to see where we are going. Truly, the future is a mystery, but if we look to our past we can find clues to our infinite possibilities.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2009). Increasing returns. Emerging and future technology. Baltimore, MD: Author.