I really love it when corporations look at their marketplace and visualize what it might look like at some point in the future. Corning, the maker of speciality glass and ceramics, has released a pair of videos looking at the array of smart glass surfaces that might one day be part of our daily lives:
There are several technology threads running throughout these videos that are worth noting:
- Touch computing will become the primary means of interacting with technology. Thanks to Apple’s success with the iPhone and iPad, this model of computing has become mainstream, and will likely be one of the dominant influences on technical innovations going forward.
- Purpose built interfaces – both physical and virtual – will be deemphasized in future designs. Functionally adaptive models will become the norm.
- Computing will move from being a distinct activity on specific device to a common activity on every device.
- Social computing will become broadly embedded, with appropriate social elements built into every device we interact with.
- Personalization will become pervasive. Everything we interact with will recognize us and conform to our specific needs and interests.
While not directly demonstrated in the videos, Cloud-based services will become the only viable way of dealing with both the content and context required to make this computing model work. Access to it will need to become standardized and open, allowing every device I own, regardless of manufacturer, to access it completely and securely. Getting past the walled garden ecosystems that are being leveraged today will probably be the most significant challenge to making this model of ‘diffuse computing’ commercially viable.
These types of videos always get my mind racing around different possibilities (and business opportunities!). What’s really exciting is that many of the elements demonstrated here are within reach of the technologies we know and use today – even if the applications being shown are not yet achievable.
If you think back to where the world was technically just a decade ago, it isn’t had to imagine many of the things shown in this video being real a decade into the future.
And that’s an exciting thought…