Thursday, February 25, 2010

More on Post-Screen Futures: What's it Look Like?

@monk51295 read my last post on post-screen futures and asks what such a future would 'look' like. While I don't think of myself as much of a science fiction writer, I can offer some suggestions that -- to me at least -- seem practical.

First of all, the existing built environment would have to be retrofitted. We could start with external surfaces. Take your average city block in the downtown of your average city. The exterior of every building as well as the surface beneath your feet would be touch-interface optional and capable of projection and image grabbing. This sort of thing -- making every surface in a room an access point, for example -- is already in the pipeline. Where it gets really exciting is when it goes outside and computing becomes public as opposed to personal. When computing becomes the graffiti of urban life.

However, for those times when public computing is not desired, we'll turn to our personal connection. But iPhones and the like will have gone the way of laserdiscs as they will have been replaced by glasses and satellite-connected contact lenses that offer the wearer a sensory-based personalized augmented reality experience.

What both the built-environment public computing model and the sensory-based personalized augmented reality model have in common is that they are both aspects of post-sedentary computing. They change the nature of how we react to the environment and they would force us to rethink how time works in our day to day lives. In terms of schools, this would of course eliminate much of what a compartmentalized building is useful for; I see those sorts of antiquities being replaced by communally activated information and learning walls housed within smart environments and as open and physical as possible. Get rid of the desks and chairs and let the technology help get people on their feet. I'm envisioning a sort of interactive and communal digital Greek Stoa where the structure itself -- that is, the architecture and the circulation plan -- is the connection device.

Would love to hear all of your thoughts on this. Let's take time out of the present for just a moment to get all 22nd century for a spell.


  1. ok. this is exciting.
    still don't get it all. maybe we could skype chat? i'm a slow learner.. but extremely passionate about changing the 7 hour day.

    thank you for taking the time to explain things... for telling me more..

    especially for exposing me to words such as retrofitted.

    still not sure what AR merging is.

  2. Your post reminds me of MT Anderson's book Feed, filled with social commentary and best in its audio version. Would be awesome to discuss with HS students.

  3. @Debbie

    Thanks for the book suggestion. Second one I've received today via this post. The other was Karl Schroeder's 'Lady of Mazes'.



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