During the next decade we are likely to see commercial products that will start to define the 'Post PC' Era of smart, networked objects that follow a new path of product development. Users will interact with embedded devices beyond the keyboard and mouse. We know that OLEDs offer a clear path to flexible, transparent display screens, but what about the combination of sensors and low power chips that make the 'screen' irrelevant for new applications. If it is hard to imagine commercial Post PC applications for enterprise sectors, what about designs for education and entertainment markets based on visions like Impress project from Sillenet [via Vimeo]
Nicholas Negroponte foreshadows the future i n this 1984
discussion on what we can expect in the coming decades. His ability
to hit the mark on everything from CD-roms to products like the
iPhone show that we can reasonably predict at least the next score
of human years. Speaking at the first TED
Conference in 1984, Negroponte waxes prophetic on the convergence
of technology, entertainment and design:
Years before anyone was using the word “convergence,” Negroponte
was thinking about TV screens as the “electronic books of the
future” and computers as the future of education. In excerpts from
his 2-hour talk (this was before TED’s
18-minute time limit), he foreshadowed web interfaces, service
kiosks, the touchscreens for mobile devices like the iPhone, and
his own One Laptop per Child project. Oh, and there’s also a
fascinating project called Lip Service, which, well, let’s just say
it’s still ahead of us …
I mentioned in my post yesterday that we were moving towards a time when the powers that be that influence tech Zeitgeist are seeing their reach and effect increase in a profound fashion. One manifestation of this can be seen in the nimble teams of developers that are and will assemble to make a proposed or roughly designed product or prototype quickly. This coincides closely with the trend towards DIY and making. In this post by leading gadget blog Gizmodo, they lay out a mock-up of a next generation Iphone. The Dream IPhone Pro basically combines the features people would like to see most in today's personal communicators - a Blackberry style qwerty keyboard combined with the full size touch screen beauty and facility of the Iphone (plus a couple of other requisite additions such as wholesale improvement of camera/video). It's a pretty simple idea and one that would satisfy a lot of folks (me included). As a result, there are probably a bunch of people tearing apart Iphones, Blackberry's and Nokias as we speak trying to create a hack.
Billions of currently computer-less people will never interface
with a traditional keyboard. They will instead leapfrog to new
touch-screen interfaces on smaller devices such as the Apple
or the new One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) design unveiled yesterday.
Sporting dual touch-screen panels connected by a hinge that
allows the device to fold open like a book, the OLPC
XO-2 is scheduled to hit the market in 2010. At an
estimated $75 price point, this will make the device a vastly more
viable competitor of a 3G iPhone than the current OLPC
Though the current OLPC will surely
make some inroads as an educational device in under-developed
countries, as suggested by johnfrink
this comment thread it’s reassuring to see that Negroponte and
the OLPC design crew have their ducks in
order when it comes to future viablity and marketability of their
product. The new model will stand a much better chance of grabbing
critical market share vs. the iPhone while also enabling a wider
touch-screen keyboard interface than its main competitor.
That being said, the 3G iPhone will still have the edge when it
comes to telephony, digital photography and portability. Plus I’m
sure that Apple, with their cognizance of rapid product cycles, is
already at work on something similar to the XO-2. (cont.)
The Linux community could be described as a group of people across the globe with the best of intentions, but even within the Linux community there are still splits and divisions.
While the idea is to create community-based software that is free to everyone, getting quality software can be hard since instead of working on one program which can, let's say, edit video, there are multiple programs out there to perform this function. This has always surprised me about the Linux community. I always figured there would be just one program developers would work on to make the best instead of wasting their resources by working on multiple programs that perform the same function.
Why are there tons of media players when there should just be one? Why are there various operating systems when there should be just one? Even Ubuntu has multiple off-shoots which is understandable since people want to gear their computer towards gaming or speed specifically. But a media player?
But now it seems we might be seeing one platform dominating a field where previously there had been over 50 varieties.
Android has made Linux users happy with their Open Source Operating System. You can tell by looking through many of the different forums or sites Linux users use. Just about anytime you see a reference to a mobile phone operating system, Android is referenced in spades. A team of developers recently put the Linux kernal onto the iPhone. The reaction? People couldn't wait to try and put Android onto the iPhone. And while Apple has tried its best to keep the iPhone from being re-programmed, it may prove futile in the end.
The only hope Apple has now of avoiding the loss of its operating system (and becoming only a hardware manufacturer) is if it too opens up its programming to users and generates support from the community. As of now the iPhone is a novelty that, once Android is able to replicate or exceed, will eventually wear off. Then again, it may already be too late for Apple.
A while back I reported on Microsoft's prototype called the SideSight, a cellphone which uses infrared sensors to determine your hand movement. Now it turns out Apple has applied for a patent on just that.
Sure, the image isn't too clear, but what you see is a possible infrared sensor array using LEDs or OLEDs as the sensor. You'll be able to rotate displays with just a wave of your hand if you bring it close to the screen. It doesn't stop there too. Apparently they're looking into the same technology for a possible OLED iPhone that will feature these sensors. Now THAT would be awesome.
Been wanting to tinker with Augmented Reality? Now you can try it out with your iPhone. Go to Metaio and try out their Augmented Reality iPhone App for free (and unlike the last AR gadget we linked you to, these instructions are in English). You can determine his size, make him run around, even print it out on a holiday card so friends and family can see him. Enjoy!
Although Google finally got approval for its voice recognition upgrade released earlier this week for the iPhone, it has run into some snags overseas. Not downloading problems, but more of a language barrier.
Although there has been some amazing feedback to the voice recognition feature here in the US, people in the United Kingdom have some serious issues with the update. Mainly, the fact that it can’t understand their thick accents. “The free application, which allows iPhone owners to use the Google search engine with their voice, mistook the word “iPhone” variously for “sex,” “Einstein” and “kitchen sink,” said the Daily Telegraph.” It seems that the accents of those in the UK are responsible for limiting voice recognition technology. It makes one wonder if people will have to develop a North American accent until voice recognition is able to deal with the varied British accents.
Will there be a Universal Voice Recognition Voice?