Sunday, 2 September 2012

Heading For The Future

I may just be the only person left in the western hemisphere that does not have a cell phone; but I've seen people check the time by pulling out their phones; taking photos with their phones, checking the map by using their phones...

We've brought back the fob watch, and added a street directory, a camera, a zeitgeist, a portable office, an arcade... I understand you can make phone calls with it too.

You know you've got the life altering bit of technology when you see it everywhere. These things have dangers, these things have untapped potential. The little matter of who will explore that potential is a billion dollar question waiting for an answer.

While we wait for that answer, the way we held our breath during the Blu-Ray vs HD Wars, the competitors roll out their view on the future.

Take a look at the difference:

Google Glasses/Nexus:

Project Glass: One day...
Nexus 7: Curious

Microsoft's Vision of the Future:

Microsoft Future Vision Montage 2019 Office Labs
Productivity Future Vision (2011)

Apple Introducing iCloud/Siri:

Apple - Introducing iCloud
Apple - iPhone 4S - TV Ad - Siri, Snow Today

This is the same view on what the future brings; with technology being a simple, seamless part of our universe; but with very different philosophies.

If I had to make a decision about either company, based on these two commercials each and little else, I would say that Microsoft's view is that technology replaces most things with their products; and Google's aim is to slip technology into the life we have now.

Take a look. Microsoft's vision of the future is clean to the point of being sterile; I see nobody over the age of forty. The building interiors, are all white and shades of grey...

Then look at the Nexus/Glasses commercials. These things are set in the world we have now. People walking down the street, using their link; families making use of the book readers or the video conferences to keep in touch with family, play games while camping, take candid shots of the baby...

Finally the Apple commercials. Same idea as Google, but every question asked is asked of the tech; even by the kid. The apple commercials have each user on their own; talking to people via their phones, or getting information from Siri. Where are all the other people, while you're talking to your phone?

There's a fundamental difference between the three.

Microsoft: This is the world according to us; hope you enjoy it.
Google: This is the world according to you; hope to be part of it.
Apple: This is the world according to you; and we plan to be a big part of it.

Ten years ago; nobody had a smart phone or a tablet; and nobody even realized they were missing something; and today you don't dare go as far as the mailbox without your phone. It was an evolution we never knew we never wanted.

So, there's plenty of future left in these platforms. Where are we going?