Living in the Future is a new column about those rare moments, as we go about our daily lives, when we realize that what we're doing is amazing. We have a tendency to assimilate new tech into our lives without giving it much thought, or even without much gratitude, as Louis C.K. reminds us. But every once in awhile, we get that visceral "whoomph" while doing something as mundane as listening to music or playing a video game, and think: "Holy shit. I can't believe this is possible."
My favorite thing about AirPlay, Apple's wireless streaming protocol, is that it works so well and so simply that I never have to think about it. This scene has happened more than once: A group of friends sit around a living room, talking, drinking, laughing. Somebody wants to share a song with the group, or a YouTube video of tiny houses, or of a cat that figured out how to get more food from its automatic feeder, or the music video du jour.
In some way or another, I've been taking music and video from my computer and playing it on my TV for years, and it's always been awkward, ungainly, and unreliable. But these days, when I want to do that, my mental image is this: A video plays on my phone. I look down. I wrap my fist around the video. While the video struggles against my palm, cats meowing or singers cavorting, I wind up like a pitcher and heave it at my TV. It flies through the air in bits, like that Wonkavision scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, before slamming into the TV and reassembling itself, large and cinematic.