Childhood Imagination About the Future is Here: The Smart Devices

Growing up in Southern California, and like most kids back in the day, I had a little transistor radio that I took everywhere, so I could listen to my favorite radio station on the go. Unless we were out of signal range. I remember when our family would go on trips up to the Redwoods or visit family and friends in other states, I wished there was a device as small as my pocket radio, that I could take with me, and somehow, magically listen to my favorite Los Angeles radio station. 

Years later while I was working in Monterey, California, I added quality sounding speakers to my home computer. All because one of my hometown radio stations was doing this new thing where you could click on a button on their world wide web site on the internet, and you could listen to them! On my computer! Of course there was that horrible buffering. Or was it just bad remix? 

It was at that point I remembered a recent visit to Disneyland where they had this exhibit in Tomorrowland called, Innoventions. It was a house of the future. A Cast Member would take you to each of the rooms, where they would ask the house to do certain tasks like, “Turn on the TV”, “Dim the lights”, “Set the oven to 375 degrees”, “Call Grandma”. I said to myself, “That would be so cool to ask my house to listen to any radio station in the world I wanted to hear…even if I didn’t live anywhere near the city it broadcasted from.

Fast forward to today…and well…we have those things. Our smartphones with the station app are the new transistor radios, so we can listen to 995 The Bridge while walking along the Columbia River, or driving out to Bend, Oregon to visiting family and friends. Recently we updated our app so you can tap a button and call directly into the studio, or text message us a request. Or even send a photo or video of you enjoying your weekend while listening to 995 The Bridge. I recently got a text message from a lady from Moses Lake who said she was listening via our new and improved app on her Apple Car Play. She plugged in her iPhone and our logo showed up on her dashboard radio. She tapped the app and was able to listen all the way to Spokane.

Now, we have smart speakers in our homes that tell us the weather, set timers, make calls, etc… And now the smart speaker has replaced the old radio alarm clock that used to sit on the nightstand next to our bed. Despite the fact that more and more people are buying and enjoying smart speakers or displays for their homes, I’m surprised how many people don’t realize the potential of that device that wakes us up in the morning.

The other day I got a call on the requestline from a listener who had mentioned that her husband bought a couple of small Google smart speakers. One for the bedroom, another for the kitchen. She was driving home from work when she heard me talking about how simple it was to listen to the radio station on the smart speaker while getting ready for work in the morning. She and her husband had no idea that they could tune into my show by simply asking, “Hey Google. Listen to 99.5 The Bridge”.

“I can now listen to you guys in my home!”

Yep. And think about some of the advantages. Earlier this year, we had a weather related power outage at the transmitting tower up on the mountain. For those who were listening on the their smart devices, they were unaware and continued enjoying the Wenatchee Valley's Hit Mix on 995 The Bridge.

How did you imagine as a kid, what the future would look like? Did they come true? How about our kids today? What cool inventions do they see in their future? 

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