Not sure if I will be around, but it will be interesting to see what the pastime looks like five years down the road. Will the big name manufacturers still be around? Will there be more foreign influence in the US market?
Will there be new technology that drastically trumps what we have now? Might we finally be able to differentiate between the pull tab and gold ring? How deep will detectors effectively go, and how willing will we be to dig down to that depth? Then again will we even have a hobby in 2020? The concern I have, and what continues to be the devil in the details, is detector depth. That never-ending quest for the extra inch…the advantage over the next guy.
HOW IT USED TO BE
“Why just tell ‘em it will go deeper and they will buy it”. That was the mantra for the manufacturers back in the 70’s and 80’s and still is today, although to a much lesser degree. Today it seems to be more add-ons…pinpointers, coils and cameras. Another old marketing phrase was “New and improved”, and what that meant was “it’s a new year, we don’t have any product to offer, so paint the case a different color, reconfigure the coil, and call it new and improved”.
Now that I have pissed off the manufacturers, let me ask….how deep are YOU willing you dig? If there’s a detector that is able to detect a coin at 2 feet, will you buy it? Well, of course you will, but where would you use it? Certainly not at the park or schoolyard, and with a detector like that, what would happen to our image and hobby? I mean damn, we already are into the “shovel over the shoulder” thing. Will we start using long-handled garden spades? Post hole diggers? Backhoes?
Another example…. What would happen if a manufacturer finally found a way to visually show you what the target is? I’ll tell you. Everybody and his brother would buy it, the manufacturer would make a helluva lot of money short-term, and a few months later metal detecting would be banned nation wide. Yes I know I am being over the top with all this, but we really need to think about the consequences of our actions and where we are going with technology.
Right now all is well with the world. The hobby is growing by leaps and bounds, and everybody is a professional treasure hunter (well at least they say they are). Nothing to worry about, right? Wrong! We have a lot to worry about, and we better start slowing this roller coaster down.
The manufacturers need to start thinking more about marketing the pastime, instead of the product. They can also be the catalyst for bringing everyone together, under one umbrella. Putting together that one, financially viable, full-time, organization that we all want to be part of.
The future of this hobby is up to all of us….the manufacturers, the distributors, the dealers, the magazines and we tekkies. Let get our heads out of our asses and start getting serious about it.
Our pastime is digging. Let’s not dig our own grave.
I finally figured out the real reason for the short handled shovel. It’s for taking photos of your detector leaning on it.