the holodeck

a couple thoughts that i’ve had recently.  i was listening to the gdgt podcast on the ipad (jan. 30th).  one of the ideas that was presented was the ipad as “4 white walls.”  the gist being that the ipad was, essentially, an empty room that needed to be filled.  the initial experience is so underwhelming that you want to fill it.

does this ring a bell for anyone?  at the risk of exposing my EXTREME NERDINESS (oh wait…i’m writing a gadget blog…), it’s just like the holodeck in star trek.  this is a room that can become anything you want it to be.  you step into it and are presented with…nothing.  a few commands later, and you’re standing in times square, or the rainforest, or making out with an old girlfriend.  it’s a completely customizable experience based on what you want at that exact moment.  this is an extension of the idea of the “information appliance” that i talked about earlier.  it’s not going to do 10,000,000 things at once.  it’s going to be a focused experience.

in the holodeck, you’re not flipping back and forth between times square and the rainforest (maybe makeouts in the rainforest is ok, though).  in the holodeck, wherever you go, there you are.  funny, that’s how real life works.  we can’t skip back and forth between two places instantaneously, but we’ve gotten used to structuring our virtual lives that way. it’s too much!  the experience of now is fundamental to our existence.  we experience things only in the present moment, nowhere else.  our attempts to transcend that through computing is difficult, at best, but we still try.  the idea of “multitasking” hasn’t been getting  a lot of positive praise as of late.  just a simple google search tells us that multitasking is on its way out.

sure, TELEPORTATION could be the unspoken trump card.  “yeah?  well what if i COULD be in two places at once?  what then, huh?”  well…you’re still technically only in one place at any given moment.  but hey, i’m no expert.  unfortunately, not many people know what that’s like.  it also comes with its own problems.  like samuel l. jackson trying to kill you.

i just don’t need that in my life right now.

maybe you’re ok with that, though.  i dunno.

but anyway, i digress.  point is, you don’t really need “multitasking.”  more and more i’m seeing computing shifting towards a single-application focus.  just look at chrome os, it’s not trying to be anything but a browser.  the ipad, by comparison, is too complex, but it will work, and people will love it.  that’s all apple needs.

i was talking to a friend of mine last night, and she asked me, “are you going to get one?”  “yeah,” i said.  her eyes widened a little bit and she took a deep breath and said, “that’s exciting!”

i know.

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