The Next Big Thing
When talking about technology and “the next big thing”, it is always important to remember that technology is constantly evolving. Not this leaping from product to product that consumer culture and the idea of Next Big Thing(NBT from here on out(meta: is NBT the NBT?:)).
Technology is interesting in its definition(current) and its etymology. Not to stray too far afield, but the definition bespeaks the use or application of knowledge, and its etymology towards its origin in application to art and craft(i.e. the making of a thing).
I guess that doesn’t lead us to any answer of what the NBT tech-wise is going to be. And I find the prognostication of something more influenced by perception than truth very difficult. By this I mean that the NBT is not always what those with the most knowledge of tech and what it can/can’t do would want/think it to be. Example: Betamax
So, I will not say what i think the NBT might be, rather, I would share with you what I would LIKE it to be.
There are some absolutely amazing things currently and recently developed. Some make the headlines, others don’t.
I am getting ahead of myself.
Lets start here…
I have a sleeve tattoo. I like my tattoo. You want to see it?
By extension, I like art. Being a techie and a Trekkie, I also nerd hard for cool things. Like the idea of a moving tattoo, a la The Illustrated Man. Body art enthusiast rejoice, but this is not a NBT quality, going back to our theme of NBT chosen.
A NBT seems to happen when several bright ideas are gathered up, made to work well together, and packaged and sold with an ease of access for the user and slick packaging. Any subcutaneous device, even if it runs on blood so you don’t have to plug yourself in at night(‘Sorry I am late for work, I forgot to charge myself last night’), is going to turn off a lot of people. The medical procedure(which in time could be easier and cheaper, but not now) and the fact that crossing the barrier of our own skin holds a psychological difficulty. Partially because it is the very last line of defence in our ‘personal space’ bubble, and (conjecturally) because for a good part of our history (western culture history), we have been Judeo-Christian, and the idea of something under the skin for interface of any kind evokes Revelations 13:15-18, though many today are only tangentially aware of it. Even if you do not subscribe to any religion or belief(which in itself is a belief), the effects of this worldview are self-evident in todays culture.
And…I am off topic, AGAIN.
Where was I?…Aw yes, NBT
Some other items I would like to call to your attention. MYO. It is an armband that goes just below your elbow on your forearm. Reads hand gestures through muscle flex and movement.
Bluetooth headsets and other devices have made the wearing of technology easy and common. So an armband that can let you script hand movements to control functions. Not really a new thing, but always getting better. I still like the idea of keyboard pants.
And finally, YOUM. A flexible OLED from Samsung. There are others, but so far, this is the most promising production for now.
Why have I brought up all these things? I want you to see the parts I envision in my NBT. That I am not just making up something or relying on sci-fi for something I want.
I want the NBT to be a vambrace.
A vambrace. Like this. OK, not an actual leather on, or even a full wrap around the arm. I envision a Myo or device like it just below the elbow on forearm, and a multifunction touchscreen wrist watch(at the wrist, of course). When you need a bigger screen, a YOUM touchscreen can be run from one device to the other, so that your arm is the screen. Personally, if they could put it all under my skin, and power it through my blood, all the cooler. Though I know some people would prefer to be able to take off their computer and leave it behind at times. That is why I envisioned it as a wearable device.
P.S. Then there is this