Back when the TAT UX video, The Future of Screens, was released, I remarked that this would provide for me some homework. I meant that in respect to how I observe interactions with people and screens, and how realistic this could be in some contexts, and how it would have to change in others. This area is an aspect of observational-based design research that I am taking some time for today. The following are some thoughts composed as I am seeing them and from my iPad.

Am sitting outside watching two men having a meeting. In one exchange, one guy passes asset of papers to the other. I wonder how this could look in the fantasy-like space where the table was essentially a screen. Of course, this is a bit expensive to have and maintain, even for the area where I am sitting now, so what are the options?

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There is the ideology that both could have iPad or other kind if tablet devices, but it certainly seems as if one of them likes to keel their hands free – he has not even pulled out a mobile phone until a few minutes ago.

And tablets are great, until you have ti sign something. There is a huge miss here with these tablets for a digital signature solution that can address digital paper held in multiple devices. Now, in this context of these two guys, I would like to see the signature owner’s mobile phone playing the role of an authentication mechanism to the signatures, via Bluetooth since that already uses a PIN and hardware address.

Is there some kind of tracking or logging on either of their mobile devices towards this actual location? Maybe even both of the persons’ mobile phones recording parts of the conversation for a journal-like moment.

Key here also is the technology getting out of the way so that the conversation happens. The position of the phones has the screens towards the owners, but the devices tilted in such a manner that any behavior of touching them denotes some break in the conversational context.

Wonder if instead of the table that plays screen that we could simply see mobile devices charging wirelessly or via solar since we are outside?

I see another person walk out of a restaurant and put on sunglasses. Because this area is covered with Wi-Fi, what if such an action (glasses lenses getting darker) would automatically log you off of a network and turn off any attachments to an augmented reality experience. If you will, making the entrance into the outside, sunlit world a sign that you want to engage in the organic environment? This person stopped and then regarded someone, so could there be a simpler notification method or ping that comes through the glasses that the person is nearby, but the rest of the experience seems/acts analog?

There is a lot of space here for augmented reality types of experiences, but aside from a touchscreen panel used to show events and items at the theatre, I don’t see how the environment could be made more receptive to an online overlay without blatant advertising all around. I don’t even see the shops using Google Local or other location services on stickers for more information about their shops or coupons. Much of that marketing seems too intrusive here even though this specific community is affluent enough to engage with these kinds of service layers.

Initial conclusion: a future of interconnected screens is possible, but the layers of behavior and expectations needs to be bridged alongside the technical advances.

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