Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ambient and Immersive

I think they should go a few steps further and create and immersive internet experience rather an ambient one. Have all the walls in your house be net and wi-fi ready. The widgets on the bedroom walls can be doing romantic travel destinations, chick-flicks and the like whereas the ones in the kitchen connect you to online grocery stores, recipe ideas for the RFIDed odds and ends it detects in your fridge not to mention exotic food blogs. After all there is a time and place for everything.

What a shame the we have to come untethered from the internet when we log off at night and have to confine our online experience to one monitor that we must tote with us where we go.

Immersion should not exclude community. Walls in all public places could double as prime real estate for browsers. We could be creating mash-ups anywhere, anytime sharing neat widgets with friends and strangers alike. True immersion is not possible without having your own skin in the game and it looks like they are already making strides in that direction. While I may not find it easy to participate in the communal web immersion opportunities, I can easily imagine reclining on a couch and reading a book online as it gets written on the wall. That's a whole lot easier than peering into a Kindle.

For parents who swear by hot-housing their kids to be ready for top ranking schools, education could go 24/7, online and on the walls of their rooms. Math on one, reading comprehension on the next and Mandarin on the third. No matter which direction they stare, something will get force fed into their system. A few clicks around the different widgets around the room and the homework paper gets printed. I wonder if all this would mean brisk business for mental health service providers.

I'll probably hang on to my Sony Vaio relic to get some non-ambient, non-immersive internet time when the grandkids have an e-granny beaming from the wall telling them bedtime stories with the sophistication of technique that I so woefully lack. Talking of which, it seems like I might have been pink-slipped from the job I was coveting the most post-retirement.

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