When I downloaded the first browser in the 90’s, I envisioned the future to be filled with amazing things. People would be able to create unimaginable stuff, world hunger was a thing of the past, we all would get along and paradise on earth was finally here. 20 years later, this is what the majority of people enjoy on the Internet.
So, the future hasn’t turned out the way I envisioned. The future, as described by many, will be screens everywhere. On your beer bottle, check book, coffee cup. Displays will be become dirt cheap and they will surround us. Supermarkets will turn into millions of flashing billboards. Nightclubs will be lit up by LED displays on wodka bottles.
Screens will surround us. At one point, we all thought screens will get bigger and bigger. Sure, you have your big screen in the living room. Most of the time, you watch stuff on small screens. On your phone, your laptop, tablet. Not on the big screen. We don’t need to have the most brilliant 3D image. More often than not, it’s good enough to watch a grainy video on your iPod.
I don’t claim to be a designer or a coder. But I built my first website by myself. (It doesn’t exist anymore. All designers and engineers should thank me.) The funny thing is, I loved it. I loved the idea to contribute to the Web, to build something that I had to figure. It looked like crap but it was mine. Just like the crazy pages on MySpace. Facebook has made this process very generic. I’m not proud of my Facebook page. It is just there and I feed the monster my data
content. But I don’t look at the page thinking: I created this.
While I’m writing this I have 6 screens looking at me. Waiting to be used. We seem to be cuffed to the screen, just look at people staring at their phone in the most inappropriate moments (while talking to their loved ones, driving, etc.). Augmented Reality was this idea that we need a screen to enjoy life even more, get more information. It never took off because we need to be less enslaved to the screen. We need the Internet of things.
Sure, at first it will as terrible as my first website.
Oh, it will be juvenile and stupid.
And, that’s cool. Because it will be also as empowering, wonderful, ugly and amazing as the first website.
Digital was never meant to be limited to a screen. Digital is meant to be part of our lives.
Being digital should be more interesting than just being a display.