We see many different types of "future" concepts. Most of them are not very good, like the slew of augmented reality apps, which require you to print out a page before you can see something augmented on your screen.
But last weekend, a reader sent me a link to OmniTouch by Chris Harrison, and it is impressive. It's a research project that combines the XBOX Kinect and a small pico projector to turn any surface into an interactive screen.
Here is the video:
Arguably, the "setup" is a bit rough. Who wants to wear an XBOX Kinect on your shoulders? But just imagine that it had been perfected into the size of a bluetooth earpiece - like this one. Suddenly everyone would wear it.
Note: The O.R.B. concept bluetooth earpiece.
The concept of being able to turn any surface into a screen is simply brilliant. And so is the software's ability to react to the position and/or angle of each surface.
In the Microsoft Future article, I wrote about how the future is not to have ten computers in your home. It is instead to use the cloud as the foundation, your mobile as the app platform, and every surface around you as your screen.
In the Microsoft video, you could only interact with the surfaces that had that capability. This takes it to another level, and allows you to work off any surface.
It illustrates what the mobile trend is all about. It is not about your phone. It is about freeing yourself from going into a specific mode, being in a specific room, or using a specific device.
Mobile really means that people can focus on what they want to do, whenever they want to do it - and not worry about how or where they need to do it.
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