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Desirable Future?: Consumer Electronics in Tomorrow's World

ISBN: 978-0-470-98660-8
262 pages
December 2008
Desirable Future?: Consumer Electronics in Tomorrow
With the pace of current development in consumer electronics, it is tempting to picture a future in which everyone carries miniature gadgets whose batteries never run out, and which inform, entertain, translate, communicate, memorise and organise. Is this a realistic picture… or is the future of consumer electronics threatened by factors such as climate change, global politics and, of course, people's continued willingness to 'buy into' the modern world?

In Desirable Future? Jack Challoner takes a thought-provoking look at this powerful industry. He describes the technologies - such as new power supplies, increased miniaturisation, and convergence - that will drive it forward, and looks at the role that artificial intelligence and speech recognition will play. He asks whether the current rate of progress is sustainable, or whether the industry is heading for a state of collapse... He raises some fascinating issues along the way, such as:  

  • Will you ever be able to have intelligent conversations with your gadgets?
  • Will we have to keep buying new formats for films and music?
  • How many obsolete mobile phones and chargers do you have?
  • Can you only afford new gadgets when they're already going out of fashion?
  • Is built-in obsolescence a commercial strategy or a necessity?

If you're someone who can't make it through the day without your mobile phone, PDA, MP3 player etc, then this book will give you some food for thought about how we became such a gadget-obsessed society and what the future holds…

About the author
Jack has written nearly 30 books for children, teenagers and adults. In addition he often acts as consultant science editor for books, magazines, science activity packs and CD-ROMs. He also presents live science shows in museums, schools and libraries.


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Prelude: Tomorrow and Today.

1 Objects of Desire.

2 The Industry.

3 The Long Slow Death of the Desktop.

4 Thinner and More Intelligent.

5 No Detour Ahead.

6 Techno-collapse.

7 Tomorrow’s Tomorrow.


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