What would make people care about computers again?
A well-crafted computer program has tremendous potential power thanks to the hardware engineers: billions of instructions per second on a desktop computer.
As an engineer you have to be careful to look for application ideas in the right places. You can be a scientist by yourself but you shouldn't try to do engineering by yourself. HDTV was easy to engineer but nobody wants it. Go to the self-help section of the bookstore and you can see what people want!
Requirements: Wireless IP connectivity, speech recognition.
using a computer without sitting down at desk/keyboard, e.g., for home control
connecting people with other people (if you think Brown sucks, wait until you graduate and can't find anyone from whom to learn)