Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the future of television... Netflix and a Chill Pill?
On Tuesday, at the Wall Street Journal's WSJDLive conference, Netlix CEO Reed Hastings said that one of the potential threats to video streaming services in the future is "pharmacological" entertainment.
Picture this - Hastings' Matrix-like hypothesis is where extreme binge-watchers will ingest a blue pill to escape into an alternate-reality hallucinatory entertainment extravaganza while a white pill will turn the "stream" off, bringing the "viewer" back to reality.
Sounds too far-fetched? Not to Mr. Hastings. He believes this mind-blowing legal type of entertainment could be available in about 20 years.
"In twenty or fifty years, taking a personalized blue pill, you just hallucinate in an entertaining way," Hastings said. "And then a white pill brings you back to normality is perfectly viable."
Could this mean we will be taking in "Stranger Things" reruns in capsule form?
Not so fast. Hastings thinks this entertainment pill is plausible but he actually warns against it. He continues, "And if the source of human entertainment in 30 or 40 years is pharmacological we'll be in real trouble."
Maybe his comments were all tongue-in-cheek but this is in line with all the alternate realities these futurist tech CEOs have been throwing around as of late. Remember Elon Musk's theory that we are living in a simulation? Or Mark Zuckerberg's virtual reality excursions? Or maybe even Bank of America's pitch that we are already in the Matrix?
The thing is that augmented and virtual reality is the latest industry buzzword. We have all sorts of companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Google rushing AR and VR product demos to whet the appetite of consumers hungry for a taste of what may come. Sony's release of PlayStation VR might even drag virtual experiences closer to the mainstream consciousness.
In the rapidly evolving world of the entertainment medium, disruptive and pioneering technologies will always displace older systems. Always on the lookout for "the next big thing" that might topple the status quo, speculation is the norm for these big tech companies.
"Is it VR, is it gaming, is it pharmacological?" Hastings asked as he enumerated the challenges or rival technologies that might push Netflix the way of Blockbuster. (Remember them?)
For now, we're not sure if this fantastic TV pill will be Wi-Fi enabled, in Full Ultra-ultra High Definition nor of its impact on stingy monthly data caps, but rest assured, the Total Recall tablet will not be available in your neighborhood pharmacies soon.