Thu Jan 28 2010

One very important thought on tablets, jetpacks and our future as a species

Yesterday I was making the rounds through my blog reading list and I found this thought provoking quote at Kosmograd in a post called ” Why 2010 wont be like ‘2010’“. It is a gentle reminder that tunnel vision (which I talk about when I give my ” Lessons Learned” talk) does set in at not only the personal but the community level. As a civilization, we’re very much focused on the here and now. I wonder where the dream went and what brought us here. Here’s the quote:>We’ve replaced the dreams of visiting other planets with the inner space of computer devices. Our focus has shifted from exploring outer space to the computer generated world of cyberspace.

As I write, the tech-press is building itself into a frenzied state of excitement speculating what the new Apple tablet, iSlate, or whatever is revealed at the launch event on Thursday 27th January 2010, might do to create a new paradigm for Human Computer Interface, the next evolution of personal computing technology. The horizon of our vision for technology is no longer interplanetary travel but multi-touch user interface designs. Our ambition seems to have shrunk to the size of a touchscreen tablet. Expect a monolith of a very different kind.

So very true. No wonder people make t-shirts that scream for hover boards and jetpacks. As a species, are we forgetting our dream of seeing beyond our own atmosphere? We’re living inside our computers, our social networks, our iPads. In the business world, you can’t go a couple of minutes without hearing the word “consumer”, and that seems to be dictating our focus. Food for thought.