“We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s a clear prescription for disaster.” – Late Great Carl Sagan
Exciting times lay ahead for technology and it’s going to be equally interesting to see some of the products that will be spawned from the likes of nano tech and quantum computing. Already the online world with the help of social apps and websites is creating an always online culture always wanting real time news or live information and as the information gets better and easily accessable we will naturally want these applications to do more and more, all the while keeping in mind the aesthetics of the product, service and tool.
I’ve seen the introduction of the mobile phone since the early 80’s into main stream culture, dials we’re always cool and who remembers this notorious number:
Telephones became Mobile phones, Mobile phones are becoming smartphones and the trend for live information, social apps and this fast food type of looking at information, or viewing it rather, is something that thrills my soul to wonder at the potential designs, interfaces and user interactions, shapes and characteristics of products and so much more that could be designed and worked on in the future. Even simple old TV’s are changing and becoming more online, it’s a fast moving World connecting together a multiple host of personalities and digital persona’s into an almost single online conciousness known as the Internet. However, even within this fantastic bag of binary, we all still want a presence and a sense of belonging.
When I began my Multimedia Design & Technology studies at uni, things seemed very new and fresh back then as many of the lectures didn’t even understand the modules and just seemed to be thrown into the course. It was a new BSc course at the time for the uni and I landed into the it’s second year of inception. However, it was an interesting course that developed my understanding and general workings throughout all types of media from studying the ancient glyphs to writing Java. Most importantly was the work and literature written by Robert S. Tannenbaum and his ideas and insight into the theoretical foundations of multimedia. He made me realise the importance of human-computer interation (HCI) and in later years Apple proved Tannenbaum’s work by showcasing how important information is when viewed in a beautiful and creative way, which engages the viewer while savouring the brands presence.
It feels like a great time to be a media designer especially when conceptualising and working on technologies that require such an immense level of interaction. I often work on designs for retail kiosks and touch screen GUI’s, an area which again is developing within the retail World in the UK but is getting much more accepted, as my brother mentioned today “the machines are taking over *dun dun dundun dun (*sing terminator theme)”. Retail kiosk do come with some baggage in that the target audience is there to shop and not stand around the whole day in front of a 17″ screen tapping buttons, instead the information must be clear, concise, easy to understand by a number of people and nationalities/tourists etc while retaining those hard retail brand guidelines. It’s fantastic to be a part of these projects and I can’t wait to see the time when projectors or interactive surfaces become more tuned and accessible, even though MIT Phd Student Pranav Mistry has already shown the World the possiblities of his Sixth Sense invention that can be potentially made on a shoestring budget, but I believe this is the technology that will begin to appear slowly across our many devices in the future, really bridging the digital – natural divide.. An exciting time indeed.
I found an interview from David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation an interesting read from this month edition of the best online mag around, in style and content, WONDERLANCE!
10 years from now hoverboards will be a true reality and we will be using magnets like Rodin’s coil or some other Mr Fusion to hopefully power our tech resources without undue waste and damage to the planet and environment…I hope.