The Onion tends to target our cultural soft spots and attack mercilessly, but few articles have hit home more poignantly than the genius "Report: 90% Of Waking Hours Spent Staring At Glowing Rectangles". So unbelievably true. And it got me wondering: What will replace the rectangular back-lit screen?
Will it be augmented reality displays that are wearable, projected onto our glasses? Flexible e-ink displays that can be printed onto the surface of any gadget? Or touch-screen technology projected onto just about any surface or object?
Back-lit rectangular screens are as ubiquitous as qwerty keyboards and just about as hard to replace--examples of those few form factors that has evolved almost to their highest possible permutation. But if there's one thing for certain about technology, one day, something will have to replace them. What will it be? Or more importantly, what would you want it to be? Let us know in the comments.
I know I personally can't wait for a Minority Report-like touch screen projected onto my pets.
E-ink and eyglass projection is still kind of more of the same, from my point of view-still giving us a 2-D surface for visual information. Im thinking more along the lines of the jump from radio to television. A newer form of entertainment (and sure, computing and communications applications) that includes another sense on top of the sight and sound that we are all used to. one of the articles on this site discusses the possibility of "mind reading" devices. Surely something like this could be engineered to do the opposite-to feed information directly into the mind, potentially making use fo all senses. We already have "mind goggles" that flash lights at 60hz, with the idea that it will put our brains in a lerning mode. I'm sure we have a long way to go, but aside from the obvious jeston-esque holo-tv, i think this is where we will wind up in the not so distant future. And when that happens, i think the way humans interact physically with themselves and the world will change forever, just as people now talk through txt, msg boards and twitter, moving away from face to face conversations.
Honestly I think the next step will be integrated viewing. A way of watching tv shows and communicating without having to stay home. Where a tag will be present with a person and their information will travel with them. So when they look at a spot that would have been a billboard a interactive ad will pop out at them similiar to Minority Report but I think it will be implanted into your eyes or glasses that can be worn. Where we can make our own shows by grabbing characters and having them follow us around and entertain us and others (like you can share the characters with others). I think it would be almost a meta reality where they overlap and you would have google or wiki in your head.
Hopefully we'll stop with all the glowing rectangles and start entertaining ourselves again, interacting with people and such.
Seeing that using a mobile while driving a car is becoming illegal, and people have been killed because train drivers are texting, there must be restrictions on use of these glasses, for example, in driving a car it is would have to be illegal to view anything on these glasses except things that enhance your driving ability and safety.
No surfing the WWW, imagine today's air line pilots surfing the WWW on their heads-op-displays.
Wow, never thought of it that way. Instead of participating in the world around, we stare at a representation of the world glowing from a rectangle.
In the future instead of staring at a box and using a mouse and keyboard, I imagine surfing the internet much like the characters did in an old episode of Futurama. You wear a virtual reality suit and walk around the internet like you would walk around a mall. Shopping websites are like stores. You can walk in and virtually pick up whatever you'd like to take with you. Information and News websites would be like an interactive museum and library with articles to read, plus lots of people to have discussions with. You'd go to different sections of the place for different kinds of articles to read, and other activities. The internet would be so much more fun if it was like a virtual reality video game than sitting at a screen. Watching TV could be virtualized too so that you could sit in the audience while the show is being filmed, but not actually be there, just feel like you were. You could have settings that allowed you to interact with other random viewers/attendees, or feel like only you and your friends/family are watching. You could create virtual watch parties. In the future of course everything would feel real!
"Instead of participating in the world around, we stare at a representation of the world glowing from a rectangle."
And before that we looked at paintings in rectangular frames hung on rectangular walls.
The "Minority Report" and "Futurama" references are fun but there is something satisfying in boxing something. When we put stuff in rectangles, it allows us to control our chaotic world.
Also, there's a more practical explanation. We're used to writing and reading things on rectangles and we've grown accustomed to consuming information via those rectangles.
I'm guessing that whatever the future may hold will feature some form of a rectangle due to its evolutionary efficiency and our shared experience with the format.
Long live the rectangle.
I see the next step based on the new Memresister and the new OLED screens. Since the memresister will replace the hard drive, memory and processor this will make faster computers the size of a credit card.
I picture your cell phone becoming a full blown PC and the OLED wallpaper TV having a docking station that you will place your cell phone into. This will allow the Internet and home theater to be controlled by your cell phone/personal computer.
I see the cell phone expanding into several new devices. The headset ear piece will be a full cell phone in it.
Sunglasses that are a cell phone and the already introduced wrist watch cell phone will start becoming the norm.
All media will be wirelessly broadcast from the cellphone to bluetooth and wifi TV's.
I just like the Iphone on his hand, that's my dream!