Want to see how far digital cameras have come over just the past 20 years? Check out this 4-minute clip that CNET released back in 1995, when digital cameras were only just starting to find their way into the hands of serious photographers.
One of the cameras featured in the video was referred to as the “B-2 Stealth Bomber” of digital cameras at the time. It was a Fujix Nikon camera that cost $20,000 ($31,000 in today’s money), could shoot 1.3 megapixel photos, and used a removable 131MB hard drive that could store 70 photos.
While this was a “pro” camera, the general idea is the same: hardware and software improve dramatically over time. So, then:
What is a $20,000 capability today that might be in your mobile device in 20 years? I would elaborate but, unfortunately, I’m out of ink and space, so I have to leave it there. … … Seriously, though, in terms that will seem extremely general to many, but also interesting to some, I’ll just say: some sort of sensor, processor, transmitter, material, or manufacturing method. Or the intersection of several of those. Would you put software in that category, or is it too dependent on the items there? In some ways, the questions, and your imagination, are the most important things right now.