I recently thought about the future form factor of computers in the home. I would guess two things are going to happen. Home office and gaming computers that require lots of power will increase in size to provide for robust components like Dual Processors, SLI, Crossfire, Beefy fans and liquid coolilng.
Entertainment computers and homework computers will decrease in size, like the cases from Aopen, Shuttle, MSI, etc… This is not to say that there will be a resurgance of “internet appliances.”
In other words, I think computers will head in two directions. More ostentatiously designed power rigs and small discreet boxes that will blend into the entertainment center or perhaps even the furniture.
People will either want to hide the computer or show it off to their friends.
Yeah, I definatly agree Rodan, There will definatly be a shift between the consumer & comercial markets, It seems that the the oportunities for home/leisure machines will mean that like furniture it is going mean people will use these machines as a means to express their individuality, and media preferences.
I guess this means the emotive qualities will be playing as much(more?) of a role as the tech-specs. Deifinatly exciting stuff.
I see the definition encompassing the way westerners interact with outside information and social contacts. I wouldn’t overlook Eastern styles, since there will be a huge growth in demand. (think social network styles)
an ideal interface for me would be a “dashboard” on a tablet pc, and a voice interlink module worn or posted throughout the personal environment (my house, and my place of work)
I think interface design will make or break the system, and I don’t think a micro screen will be ideal. I would want to run the system off of something bigger than a Blackberry to allow for an interface on a larger scale. The voice system would make miniaturized tactile components redundant.
a visual communication interface will probalby be entertainment centered for a while. The TV will probably become a monitor.
Thats what I was thinking, It would be nice to somehow intergrate some maunual/analogue features… maybe? Might make the whole experience more fulfilling. Im just thinkn, no one really wants the ‘perfect system’ where media masturbation is the end result.
My father has some very nice ‘acoustic membrane’ speakers that are basically paper thin resonating mylar sheets housed in a protective lattice. I have also been hearing a few things in the past year or so about ‘smart paper’ that is on the horizon, which I gather is simply a display with the physical properties of paper. I could imagine this would be an interesting platform for media. You could hang it on the wall, disguised as whatever rectangular 2D piece of art you like while dormant.
Heres somthing a friend of mine had to say on the matter of our PC fruture, I think its a very intersting insight.
"At the end of the day sustainability issues will become more and more important in the mind of the consumer. Consumers will only be interested in the service provided by the technology, not the product itself, which only serves as a platform for delivering the service. As consumers become more and more isolated from the natural world through urbanization, technological advancement and sedentary lifestyles there will be a backlash against technology driven products that are seen to enforce this separation from nature. This cultural shift will challenge the way manufacturers do business. Computer manufacturers will only lease rather than sell their merchandise to users and retrieve it at the end of itâ€™s useful life for the client. This means manufacturers will have to be more sensitive to designing recyclability into their products, so that their business is profitable. Greater scrutiny will be applied to the input and output of energy in the manufacturing, distribution and recycling process and more discretion will be required to determine whether the next iteration of an existing product is really cost effective to produce or whether a truly innovative solution to delivering a desired service ought to be investigated. computer interfaces will get more organic and integrated into the fabric of our homes/ clothing/ lifestyle.
I think that is a bit far off from the throw-away consumer society mentality we have right now. People’s attention spans aren’t as long as the life of a product anyway. I am skeptical that we will turn into a green society exclusively any time soon. However, I cerntainly hope that ID can keep presenting possible solutions to get us headed in that direction.
People resist change. Some older people do not even comprehend the logic that drives technology, mainly because they do not necessarily think its important to them. For example, most American auto manufacturers (from what I’ve heard) are weary to put more robust computer systems in cars because they fear potential litigation from people who are distracted by onboard computer features. One day, cars will eventually be automated by computers to do whatever. Until that day, society will only give trust to computers to do superfluous or non-essential functions until they eventually trust them with more system critical tasks. Computers didn’t kill typewriters right away, but after a while people said, “well that word editing feature is actually really useful!”
SO, I see it like this: Computers will continue to integrate into every aspect of our lives, but only in areas where we can trust them to work and not be upset when they break or not work the way we want them to. Home entertainment is the next industry where I think this is going to happen. Probably in a few years, we will we say to ourselves, “gee, I really can’t function in life without this TIVO thing.”
Next up, I think there will be a consolidation of personal electronic devices into a simple interface and greater functionality. Motorola has talked about the concept of a “wearable pc.” Microsoft is saying that the new Windows Mobile platform will kill the iPod. Anyway, a lot of key players are discussing this concept.
After that, I think cars will start to offer more and more functionality. Bluetooth standard, GPS, traction control, ALB, Satalite radio are just a start.
On the horizon, following distance sensors, sleep prevention systems, BOSE electromagnetic shocks, ONStar on crack, etc are already in prototyping. Its only a matter of time before the car will integrate into your home network to share files, music, movies, real time traffic reports, Google Earth 2.0 (or MSN maps) will be, Understeering or Oversteering prevention, and systems dynamically adjust to weather and road conditions that are completely automated. And after that, you will probably have an automous car. I thnk we will tell our grand kids that we once drove cars manually (kinda like “I, Robot,” I guess).
this subject has been making the rounds recently in several blogs, and I must wonder who’s doing the fishing. In spite of that, I believe that the future of computing lies not with the computer itself, as multiprocessor units are on the way that will provide for cluster computing power 5 to 10 times or more as great as we have today. The real game is in the software. As designers we tend to look at a piece of hardware to solve problems, as we are primarily 3d oriented, but for computers the real answers come from applications, applications, applications, with a dose of operating system and a smigen of hardware.
At this point the power of computers is underutilized due to legacy software and operating systems that have it in their best interest to release changes slowly and charge for the priviledge. 64 bit computers are available, but the software applications (say photoshop) are not optimized for 64 bit, so they only utilize half of the computing power. Right now it seems software is in a quagmire of legal traps created by major software vendors (microsoft for example) who have developed code and patented it not to advance computing, but to reap benefits down the road, since they have effectively roadblocked progress, and are seeking compensation (to become a partner) with new companies. How they will leverage this power remains to be seen, but it has manifested itself into “standards” (such as the new wireless security schemes) that one has to pay the priviledge to use (if not immediately then someday).
Product development utilizing computers will be directly impacted by these trends, as it affects the bottom line. Open source software and liscensing offer some protection, but can have pitfalls as well. Microsoft will absolutely charge for the priviledge of using its Intellectual property, (as you will find out if you infringe), as will other liscensing agents and schemes. Software developers are grappling with the issue right now, but it will probably be another 5 years or more before some “winning scheme” emerges that allows devopment while insuring some profit for programmers and intellectual property holders.
If you asked me the near future of computing, I would have to say