[Sony Guy featured at Unplugged]Unplugged ran this photo yesterday with the following text:

OneĀ rad dude with his late 80’s tech toys. The only thing we’d imagine using amongst his array of electronics is the calculator; fascinating to note these all were ubiquitous items in households not too long ago, but have been mostly phased out with the march of time.

What the comment misses is that the vast majority of these devices (video cameras, video recorders, audio editing, calculators, portable audio, portable video, …) haven’t been phased out, just transformed. For example, VHS tapes are on the way out, but video recording and replay continues. What it also misses is that if the photo was taken today, it might look something like this:

The vast majority of those device functions (video recording, video replay, camera, video camera, portable audio, calculation) are available on most smart phones. This is one of the most revolutionary aspects of new digital technologies. Not only do they compress (and sometimes expand) time and space, but the move to digital allows devices to “fold” into each other.

Once information is reduced into 0’s and 1’s, as long as your device (phone, computer, tablet, you-name-it) can run a program that can manipulate those digits without destroying their relations (the overall structure of the file), then you can add on whatever playback and editing features you want.