On The Radar, Spring ’10

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Since the last On The Radar, Palm has seen a slump in sales, the cloud has became our safe storage medium and the real time web is closer to reality. This year, the number of technology trends is fewer. In fact, on the WebIT radar, there is only one:

PCs for media consumption

What I mean by a PC made for media consumption is a computer which serves primarily to display information. Examples of this trend are Apple’s iPad and other tablet computers, large display smart phones and ebook readers. These devices forgo the standard keyboard and mouse interface (in most cases). They instead bring the user closer to the content through the physical act of holding it and pointing at it.

If you think back to the first use of computers, their main function was to calculate and process. The only output one wanted was the outcome of some processed input. This is why every desk has a permanent keyboard between the user and his or her screen.

In the past decade, the proliferation of accessible information in text, video and interactive formats is making input secondary. Much of my leisure time is spent consuming news and videos, not posting comments or communicating. The only input I need is a way to direct the interface to my next destination. However that is accomplished.

Will these new devices revive print media? Is Western society reaching its peak of content production? Only time, and you, can tell.

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