Many of the visions look like something right out of the Star Trek reboot movie series and we could well see that as our reality in the coming years. Two new devices bring those visions a little closer.
Google just launched a product called Jamboard which looks like a step in this direction, for sure. Jamboard is a step forward for team collaboration and data interfaces but it is still rooted in our current, clunky interfaces.
Watch the video from about 01:00 in and you see what I mean. As progressive as the interface seems, the moment you see a person pushing this big screen on wheels with a power cable out of one room and into another, you can see the limitations of the technology right away.
By contrast, take a look at this 2012 Corning video titled “A Day Made of Glass 2: Same Day. Expanded Corning Vision”. Sure, the future tech in the Corning video is probably still some way away in our future but the interfaces are far more fluid and portable.
Jamboard looks terrific. I like the design and I am very curious about it’s capabilities and whether it can support remote teams. At the same time it seems a lot like the enterprise Google Goggles of 2016/2017. It feels very much like an intermediary technology designed to test real-life use cases and inform the design of the next thing.
On the other hand, just look at Microsoft’s latest release: Surface Studio. Isn’t this even closer to Microsoft’s own vision of our future tech? Leaving aside that the Surface studio looks a lot like a really big iPad or slimmer iMac, I love the interfaces in this video:
Realising these future tech visions will probably require big steps forward in high-bandwidth data availability; ubiquitous and smarter interfaces along with a new generation of highly capable and multi-modal devices.
I have little doubt this is on our horizon and both products like Jamboard and Surface Studio, along with visions from the likes of Corning and Microsoft are really exciting peeks of what may lie ahead for us.