Monday, November 14, 2011

It's in the Air

Beyond the cloud, beyond the smartphone and tablet, the future of computing is in the air. Not up in the air, but floating, right there in front of you, me, us.

For starters, here's a Ted Talk from 2009 dubbed SixthSense, featuring Pattie Maes of MIT demonstrating a wearable device that uses video projection, designed by Pranav Mistry:

Now, here, more recently, is OmniTouch, a similar type of device developed at Carnegie Mellon University, and funded by Microsoft:

The presentation is a bit dry, admittedly, but it does suggest the direction that we are moving in, whether it's OmniTouch, SixthSense, or something entirely different.  Oh, and here's a follow-up video, which is even more dry than the last one:

This also demonstrates that Microsoft, a company whose leadership position in the world of new media has been steadily eroding since the departure of Bill Gates from active stewardship, and the ascendancy of old rival Apple, is not to be counted out of the game just yet.  In fact, here's a recently released vision of the future, the future in particular of Microsoft Office:


The video, rather blandly named Productivity Future Vision (2011), includes some unspecified form of 3D or holographic technology, embedded in multiple screens, which as I've noted previously, indicates that the screen, as a singular framing device is obsolescent.  You might also compare this vision to that of Corning, the glass company, which I discussed in a post back in August:  Life in Glass Houses

McLuhan argued that both clothing and architecture are extensions of the skin, and with these videos we gain a vision of the future world of electric skin...

Electric skin?  Hey, wouldn't that be a great name for a band?  Anyone out there play bass? Or maybe air guitar?

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