They say that art imitates life. A great example of this can be seen in Star Wars; which was born when George Lucas dreamed up “The Force” when he couldn’t reach the remote from his hospital bed.
Fast forward to the early 2000′s, when Steve Jobs first started dabbling with the concept of a tablet PC [again], then in 2004 was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
If you were to compare the two stories, some striking similarities emerge. Lucas wanted the remote to jump into his hand, and out popped Star Wars; Jobs was confined to a hospital bed but wanted to be as connected as if he were actually there to interact with his peers, despite his dire circumstances, and out popped the iPhone.
Art, without question, imitates life.
Where I think Apple and most other tablet manufacturers are missing the boat; is that you can’t actually do much besides interact with the device itself. I can’t drive and use an iPad. I can’t go camping with a tablet unless I want to carry an external power supply, let alone get a signal on the top of a mountain. I can’t [safely] Twitter and lift weights. I’m continuously relegated to doing one or the other, but rarely both. It’s sedentary technology.
All that aside, the biggest part of all these devices, and subsequently the greatest source of frustration, is the battery; which has to power the display and all the radios (WiFi, Bluetooth, 3g, GPS, etc….). It’s really quite a bit of work in order to just sit and stare at something.
I believe the next technological revolution will happen when someone decides to ditch the display. My prediction is that it will be Google, and here’s why:
The display severely limits what you can do while you interact with the device, almost as much as the battery limits how long you can interact.
So why not ditch the display? Think about it. All new TVs are shipping with connectivity to the internet, they’re all Hi-Def, and they’re huge. This means that all you’ll actually need is an input device with an internet connection – then all of a sudden, any display with an internet connection is your display.
Can you imagine how great it will be to walk around with a track pad that can go 3-4 days on a single charge, fits in your pocket, lets you take calls AND give you a rich web experience on any internet-enabled display? No more laptop to drag around, more space in the overhead bins on planes, heck - people might even start looking at the road again while they drive.
Google is on the forefront of putting this plan into action; and that’s why they’re my pick for the next big iteration in how we experience the web. It’s one of the reasons I’m finally ditching my Iphone for the Droid X.
I’m interested to hear what you think.
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