For a medium that is so universally derided as television, a surprising number of people have claimed credit for it. Over the years, encyclopedias and history books have been revised and revised again, but the most current thinking is that it was a teenage inventor named Philo Farnsworth who actually conceived it, and a few years later, created the first transmission of an electronic television signal in 1927, effectively ushering in the era of screen-based media that has dominated society ever since.
Early 2010 felt like the 1950s all over again. No, cruising and poodle skirts did not come back, but the theater world became once again obsessed with 3-D technology. While it has failed to maintain a foothold over the years, this time around it seems that worldwide domination is entirely possible. The only question that remains is just how ubiquitous 3-D will be in our entertainment lives going forward.
Produced in 1982 by a quartet of mainframe computer developers, the Disney film Tron was a visual feast in its day, sprung on a virgin audience unfamiliar with terms like "CGI" and "digital 3-D."
Get ready to have a conversation with your car. The generic Web is grinding through its commodity end-game, with prices for both advertising inventory and content falling. And the mobile Internet is reaching early middle age, with worldwide cell subscribers flattening, and the app market tightening into narrow device-oriented silos. But one end of the digital content beach is enjoying a vivid adolescence: in-car media, infotainment and support services.
I am writing a story about how our brains perceive and process content across various media screens, and I can't help thinking about what my brain is doing at this very moment, even as the words I write appear on the screen of my computer. Or, for that matter, what your brain will do when you read them in this magazine, or on some of the screens this story will eventually appear on. That's because people who understand how these things work are explaining them to me, and making me cognizant of things people don't normally think about, but which …
Ever feel like a character in a science-fiction story in which some rogue technology goes awry, and begins to alter who you are? Lately, I've started to think that's actually happening to me - to all of us. That some recent advances in media technology are accelerating the process of human evolution, and that we are becoming something else. Professor William Gribbons thinks my theory is a little wacky, but I think I've got some proof.
When Britannia opened for business in July 1997, 100,000 people swarmed the city. Within days, the homesteaders transformed the barren landscape into a town and that became a community. And it would be a lovely story except for one fact: Britannia was a jumbled mass of human chaos.
The next game controller you pick up in your living room ... may be you. After decades of fumbling with increasingly complex 12-button, dual-stick, thumb-spraining console controllers, Microsoft is promising to remove the layers of digital abstraction that have been with us since the first desktop mouse arrived.
Media continues to migrate to whatever screens are placed in front of us. By now, all manner of pundits will have weighed in with opinions on the much-hyped Apple iPad after its April launch. And as we look forward to seeing what these new tablet media experiences will be, I cast my vote for those that are increasingly "rich" in the sense that they will be dynamic, layered, and interactive. The audience wants richness. It's in our blood. We are the TV generation. Look at what happened to the evolutionary history of Web sites. It didn't take long to see …
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.