Brainstorming next year’s PC. They want more stylish computers, built-in wireless networking, fast serially-connected peripherals. Doesn’t look like it takes much brainstorming to me. They’re just following Apple’s lead.
I’ve just been to an interesting talk about Dr Osamu Morikawa’s HyperMirror system. How do you allow for richer interaction over video conferences? Make the participants believe they are all in one room, but looking in a mirror. Wonderfully simple idea, which seems to work very well. There are short video clips on the web site.
It reminds me of the MIT ALIVE project, where you saw yourself in a mirror view of an artificial world, with which you could interact. HyperMirror is much simpler and more useful for most people, because it’s about communicating with other people rather than machines. (It doesn’t even need a computer for a simple implementation.)
This is a noticable trend in the progress towards ‘ubiquitous computing‘. Technologies which simplify communication between people thrive. Those which simplify communication with machines are mostly just a stepping stone.
One of the things I love about the Mac is the way that applications are usually self-contained on your disk. They don’t dump miscellaneous files into system folders, for example, like Windows apps do, thus requiring an uninstall procedure. For most Mac apps, the uninstall procedure is ‘drag to the Trash’. Similarly, backing up and restoring your programs is easy.
Of course, this tidiness also makes this sort of thing easy!
"Tim [Berners-Lee] became a Python enthusiast when he tried to learn Python on a plane trip. He had already downloaded Python and its documentation on his laptop, and between takeoff and landing he was able to install Python and learn enough to do something with it, “all on one battery.” "
(Python is a programming language. Just in case anyone thinks this is an unhealthy obsession with reptiles.)
© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser