Can you imagine living with only one device? No computer, no tablet, perhaps even no phone. This idea is even more radical than it sounds. The announcement this week by Microsoft of the Microsoft Continuum gave us a strong insight into where technology and more significantly, human interaction, is heading. This is not in a far-off sci-fi future, this is the immediate future. We will all be living this vision shortly, which is why it is especially important to consider the ramifications beyond the technology itself.
The Single-Device Paradigm
Your phone as your PC, and your tablet, and your work computer, makes sense. You get to discard the fragile, expensive large screens from your life, and at the same time get to access the full power of a PC everywhere with no tradeoff. This idea, however, does pivot on the assumption there are screens to access.
The private sphere will move from personal or work computers to single devices connected to shared screens. Our concept of public screens will be uprooted. They will no longer be out-dated public library computers, shared screens will be the norm.
The Microsoft Continuum has the potential to help bring people together and in the process, enrich their experience with technology, each other and their lives. Traditional computer monitors will no longer be necessary. Since its inception, the vision at nsquared has been to put digital tables everywhere in order to enhance collaboration and get people talking away from isolating personal devices. The Microsoft Continuum represents a step toward this vision.
The digital table is a social technology that allows people to share the same screen. In the same way, the Microsoft Continuum is a tool for people to share screens. Sitting at home, the family will be able to sit around their digital coffee table, their devices connected simultaneously, exploring and sharing together.
This is no small announcement. Microsoft has given us a profound vision to the potential of technology to enhance our lives. Microsoft Continuum and shared screens is a future worth looking forward to.