At a recent Wall Street Journal conference (WSJD Live 2016), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speculated that the future of entertainment might be something OTHER than watching and interacting with the screen of an electronic device.
Netflix, an entertainment industry innovator with its “DVD-by-mail services” not very many years ago, has evolved into an industry leader with a successful streaming service and as an original content provider with hits such as Stranger Things, House of Cards and Narcos.
At the conference–which brought together CEOs, founders and investors—these visionaries discussed cutting-edge tech opportunities that are emerging around the globe.
During his remarks about the future of contemporary entertainment sources, Hastings suggested that new technologies like augmented and virtual realities (AR and VR) are already happening and could branch out beyond simple gaming to entertainment that does not require sophisticated tech equipment.
In his talk, Hastings suggested that as augmented and virtual reality technology flourished, improved and finally matured, newer entertainment sources would evolve to replace them.
But what would that grand leap in entertainment be? In a word, the answer would be PHARMACOLOGICALS!
The Netflix CEO stated that the current real threat to capturing new customers and retaining present customers is anything that takes the viewer’s attention away from the screen. Recreational drugs are nothing new and I’ve blogged about a significant number of them in the past. Certainly, recreational drug use is on the rise worldwide. I speculate that it is a potential competing element to screen entertainment even now.
In his speech, Hastings said that possibly in twenty to fifty years one might take a personalized colored pill to hallucinate in an entertaining way, and then take a white pill to bring the customer back to the real world.
Certainly, it’s an idea straight out of The Matrix. It’s also a more recent idea featured in the video game Watch Dogs. Hastings went on to state, “And if the source of human entertainment in thirty or forty years is pharmacological, we’ll be in real trouble.” I conclude that pharmaceuticals of the future might essentially replace device-based entertainment at some point in time.
As a thriller writer, I’m always interested in innovative technology to spice up my storylines. That might now include entertainment without screen devices! And how sinister could that become if that entertainment were pharmaceutical in nature and then misused?
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!