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Dark Horse and Underrated Tech

We live in society where newer equals better. Every month, if not every week, tech companies race to create and release newer, faster, sleeker, sexier gadgets. And while some of them really are worth their weight in gold, most are flash-in-the-pan trends. So, as AV experts looking to guide our customers to not just a better fit but the BEST fit, should we automatically gravitate towards the latest and greatest? Or should we take a closer look at Dark Horse tech and over-looked and underrated tech?

Since I’ve been offering AV services for a few decades now, I like to do my due diligence. Sometimes the newest is the greatest. But sometimes, the less obscure, maybe even the older models, may be a better business investment. Some AV tech, while well-known, may not be fully appreciated. And some AV tech, while little-known, has the potential to greatly enhance your enjoyment and/or productivity. Read on!

The Dark Horse

The Phrase Finder, a UK-based website, shares that a dark horse is someone (or something) who was previously unknown and who emerges to prominence in a competition. This was originally horse-racing parlance. A dark horse was one that little was known about and therefore was difficult to place odds on. The figurative use later spread to other fields and has come to apply to anyone who comes under scrutiny but is previously little known.

Underrated AV Technology

While researching for this post, we came across an amusing article titled, “What is the most underrated technology?” And this really is the question in which “Dark Horse” is the answer. If we apply the “Dark Horse” phrase to technology, what we really mean is tech that is either older or more basic, but actually, may outperform or outshine its contemporaries. Here are some AV examples from the article:

Google Chromcast

Writer Aabishkar Wagle thinks the most underrated tech is Google Chromecast because:

It lets you stream YouTube, Netflix, HULU, HBO on your TV directly.

It lets you broadcast Facebook Live video on TV.

You can show your presentation slides on your TV using Chromecast.

It lets you play some cool games freely on your TV.

You could use your TV to play the songs of your mobile via Chromecast.

You can cast your photos slideshow to your TV using Chromecast.

It has this sort of benefit but only few people know about it and very few use it.

Literally Anything Made in the Past 25 Years

Writer Aryan Rai, a self-described tech enthusiast, states, “Think about it, none of this stuff that we take for granted existed a little while ago, and now I can get a pizza to show up at my door in about half an hour with the push of a few buttons. There is so much around me that is just so complicated and interesting, it gets a little overwhelming to try and understand just how it all works. I could spend a whole day researching just how my d*mn refrigerator works and that still wouldn’t be enough time to appease my curiosity. But by far the most advanced piece of tech that has ever been put together has to be the smartphone.”

Wireless Charging Earbuds

Justina Huddleston, from the website she knows, believes that wireless charging earbuds are one of the cool tech products that deserve your attention. She shares, “Wireless earbuds for sports enthusiasts and people on the go, hGroov earbuds come with a Qi charging base and secure case. Charge the case on the Qi, then place your earbuds inside when you leave the house. They'll charge while they're in the case, so you never have to worry about running out of power halfway through your workout. You can also charge them with a Micro USB cable.”

Selfly Camera Flying Phone Case

Ms. Huddleston continues with the Selfly Camera Flying Phone Case. She describes, “Part phone case, part autonomous hovering 12-megapixel camera, the Selfly is controlled from your phone so you can take selfies, videos and more. Direct the Selfly using your phone, adjusting the angle with simple hand movements to stabilize the device. When you're done, snap the camera back into the phone case. The device is only 9 millimeters thick and fits easily in your pocket, so you can bring it with you anywhere.”

Tony’s Dark Horse and Closing Thoughts

I tried to think of what tech I have around the home and office that I use daily. Of these, which ones would be considered underrated or less desirable by today’s standards? It’s more of a perspective I have that I will share and finish with instead of a list of gadgets.

The thing is, I default to some tech that is older because it is dependable, and I don’t need to relearn how to work them. For me, keeping life fluid, instead of clogged up with OS changes, also means finding a balance between disruptive tech and stuff that just works.

Keeping unnecessary stress out of my life is important. Making time available for my wife, family and friendships is my motivation to push the new tech off my plate. And really, there is always a “break-fix” period when something new comes out. So, I like to wait and watch what tech truly will stay and which ones will fade before I let it invade my life. My philosophy is, “If you won’t take 15 minutes a day to learn the new tech you just bought, don’t bother for it will just end up in the junk drawer.”

Keeping it real.

Tony, the AV Guy

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