The King is alive. Based on what I saw during a recent visit to Memphis, Elvis Presley is likely to live a very long time and probably outlive most of the people on earth today. For that, you and I can thank the electronics industry. Technology is helping to preserve the more recent histories of mankind and making many of us wistful about how much more of humanity’s past we would have been able to call up with the press of a simple button had electronic innovations come a few hundred years earlier.
At Graceland, Presley’s home in Memphis, you could see the King of Rock n Roll life on giant screens, browse archives of his performance on smaller monitors sprinkled liberally throughout the house and hear him belt out some of his best-selling singles in that entrancing voice. Elvis, it seems, is more alive today than he was when he was among the living. Okay, that’s kind of paradoxical but believe me a visit to Graceland would net you more of Elvis than many of the folks who attended his many public performances were privileged to enjoy.
There are numerous newspaper clippings and video shots of Elvis before the war and on his return from Germany where he served. Graceland has more than 80,000 pictures of Elvis, dozens of video clips and more sound tracks and recordings than I could possibly listen to in a single day of wandering through the main house and adjacent buildings. Elvis is seen in his army uniform, with his wife, daughter and business partners as well as on concert at various global locations.
The new managers of Elvis’ home, which he shared at one time with his parents, have found a way to incorporate the best of our world today into the presentations of his life. Visitors get a tablet PC and a headphone at the door and can get additional information on every room in the compound by simply requesting it online during the tour. The King of Rock & Roll comes alive in a personal way for each visitor who gets to interact with the Elvis story at their own pace.
I have to admit I wasn’t the greatest Elvis fan when the tour started. By the time it ended I had come to understand and appreciate why Elvis was such a powerful force. Future Electronics Inc. planned the trip as part of the company’s celebration of the 10th Anniversary of its Memphis Area Distribution Center. The ultra-modern facility is actually located in Mississippi but close to Memphis, a major hub for the logistics services providers that support Future in the area.
It’s true that advances in electronics have made life a lot easier for everyone. Electronics have made a lot of difference in how we communicate, socialize, conduct business and entertain ourselves. It’s made many of the things we engage in as individuals, society and businesses faster and better in so many ways. We generate, access and process more information annually than mankind probably did for thousands of years before.
Other technological innovations that will impact all of us at an even deeper level are being rolled out globally and more are being tested by businesses and governments. The Internet of Things, for example, is being talked about as another transformative development. In the meantime, automation is changing manufacturing as more companies – aiming for increased productivity or facing labor rights criticisms – deploy more robots on production floors. The self-driving car, too, is within grasp of the first set of adopters. Companies involved in the development, design and production of technology devices, are in the vanguard of many of these developments.
Electronics isn’t all about just today or the future, however. It’s also a tool that’s been useful in preserving mankind’s shared memories. With it, we get to relive the past – ours and previous generations’ – and preserve our own discoveries and experiences for others. Whereas in the past people document history after they occurred, our generation get to record history as they occur. All of these is possible partly because of the advances we’ve made in electronics. The past comes alive and gets immortalized for coming generations. Just like Elvis.
DISCLAIMER: Bolaji Ojo is editor-in-chief and publisher of Electronics Purchasing Strategies. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author alone who promises to base his sometimes biased, possibly ignorant, occasionally irrelevant but absolutely stimulating thoughts on the subjective interpretation of verifiable facts alone. Any comments should be sent to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.