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Moon Shot

Navigating giant leaps in technology.

A close-up view of an astronaut’s foot and foot print in the lunar soil is photographed with a 70mm lunar surface camera July 20, 1969 during the Apollo 11 lunar surface extravehicular activity (EVA). The 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon mission is celebrated July 20, 1999. (Photo by NASA/Newsmakers/Getty Images)

As I write this, the world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “one small step” of humankind walking on the moon. I was on Earth at the time, but, at one-year-and-one-month old, I have no memory of the actual event. The after effects, however, certainly had an impact, as I was obsessed with science fact (astronomy in particular) and science fiction throughout my adolescence. It was there that my fascination with technology took hold, and still grips me to this day.

One bit of trivia that I have heard repeated through this golden anniversary of the moon landing is how they were able to do it with computer power that is 1/1,000,000 of what we now carry around in our smartphones. But, really, that is not surprising at all; the speed at which technology moves is astounding. To put it in perspective, I often think of my grandfather’s life (1900–1984). He saw the evolution from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles, to lunar modules, to space shuttles!

From the Editor: Taking on Amazon

In 1969, the notion of a home computer was still off in the distance, let alone an iPhone. At home, television viewers could only choose from the few stations offered, and if they were building any kind of sophisticated entertainment system, it revolved around the Hi-Fi.

Think of the whirlwind of AV innovation that has happened since then: from VCRs to surround sound, to laserdiscs, and so on. We have seen formats come and go, but they served their purpose and moved us technologically forward, on to the next evolution of entertainment and convenience. We had barely heard the phrase “smart home” at the turn of the century, and now look how embedded in our lives it has become.

Could you have imagined, five years ago, that we would be talking about sophisticated power management tools that provide energy savings and efficiency to clients? Did you ever think that circadian rhythms would be part of a typical sales pitch?

From the Editor: Waking Thoughts

Just as the first moonwalk inspired us to dream of where we could go next, so does the latest generation of home entertainment and convenience tools. What is the next phase of evolution for the CI channel? What services will we be able to provide to our clients within the next five years? Where do we go from here?

I’m not sure, but I’m looking forward to assigning an “installing a theater in zero gravity” story for the first off-world settlement.