Get ready for the next wave in displays: the organic user interface. Organics will not be mere screens at all. They will carry their own intelligence, be able to find and connect to other nearby organic displays; they will quantify their place relative to users, bend to any shape or form and react to just about any physical parameter from heat to light to cold.
You see them everywhere now -- video screens flashing like beacons in public spaces, asking for your attention. What started as an absolute niche product a decade ago is fast becoming part of the landscape.
By the middle of the 20th century television had comfortably made its way into the American living room. And 52.6 million families watched nearly seven hours of TV a day. In the middle of this boom a chief engineer and manager of equipment design for the military electronics firm Saunders Associates had an idea.
Get ready for the Gumby factor in point-of-sale: Big bright clear, commercial displays - that also happen to bend - will be coming to a mall, TV show or supermarket near you sometime in mid-2010.
The iPhone effect is about to go large. Very large.
"Gesture Man." That's what Wired recently called Dale Herigstad. Okay, so it was the Brit edition of Wired, but that's where he's been gesturing lately - in the London offices of WPP's Schematic, where he is chief creative officer, and gesturer-in-residence.
Many actions of magic, and even religious ritual, are fairly described as gestures. Back when the explanation for why anything beyond the power of man happened was invariably supernatural, man tried to exercise dominion over reality by appealing to the same supernatural, invoking it to do his bidding through finger movements.
Aside from air and other people, screens are probably among the most prevalent things with which we surround ourselves.
Our media consumption patterns may be known in microscopic detail, yet the motivations behind those patterns are largely assumed. The result of these quite dangerous assumptions: Small, often untraceable shifts can happen in our aggregate media consumption patterns each year that, over time, can subsequently cascade into a major avalanche of change that can seem to come from nowhere.
Dear Media Magazine, I confess I'm writing these lines directly into the email form, because I think if you are going to make critical commentary on digital things, you must, these days, make clear that you are not writing with pencil and paper. Few do.