It’s time to start wasting pixels #theconf [video]

What if all surfaces are potential screens?! And how will we think about computing on those srceens in public spaces? That was the premise of one of the sessions at Media Evolution The Conference.

With personal computing we deal with private stuff, social computing is something we do with family and friends, public computing is something you will do with strangers on screens public spaces.

Wasting pixels

In his presentation Venkatesh Rao ( talked about wasting pixels, much like Alan Kay talked about wasting bits in 1970. Computer power used to be so expensive that it was only for calculating “important thing”, but as it became cheaper we could waste it things like design and user interface. According to Venkatesh “screens” will go the same way because “pixels will be as cheap as paint”.

Driving forces for adopting screens everywhere

Since the technology will be expensive to roll out in the beginning, Dan Gärdenfors (RIM TAT) believes that advertising companies will lead the way. They already have a business model for selling surfaces that can catch our attention.

And there will be some really cool new ways for designers to make use of the new screens, “When information can move from the side of a buss to the wall of house and back again to the bus we are leaving the rectangular design of messages”. It’s just a matter of time, “there’s an economic argument for pushing out screens everywhere, it’s technologically possible and there are some really good possibilities to design some interesting experiences”

Improvement of technologies will make them more affordable

“Every single school in the world will replace ordinary books with e-books” says Sriram Peruvemba (Eink). Even though it’s very costly to improve the technologies, that’s what is happening. Apart from developing new displays is actually a good business, there’s also a strong driving force in the ability to put a knowledge device in every persons hand.

“We love books. Libraries are magnificent, but visiting statistics show they are on decline. The people that go them doesn’t borrow books. They go there for free internet and to look for jobs.” Sriram envisions a future where the all people in the world have access to all books ever relesead on a display that is better than paper, “every single school in the world will replace ordinary books with e-books”

A comment
  • Quora

    Is social computing going to replace personal computing?…

    It already has. You’re really referring to the next stage, which I call ‘public computing.’ Big multi-user touch screens basically. We’re getting there. I’ve written/spoken about this. See: