Some of you might remember the “smart fridge” idea. More than a decade ago some companies had made horribly expensive fridges which had built in computers and a touch screen. You could surf the net, watch movies and generally do most of the things you ended up doing with your laptop parked on the kitchen table.
There is a fine line in understanding New Media which most people get wrong. New gadgets should not be viewed like Swiss Army knives. It isn’t about what they can do. Much like the top of the range Swiss Army knife, you know, the one with all the extras…well you can’t really carry that around in your pocket. Which sort of defeats the purpose as you leave it in the car all the time “just in case”. For all our Twitter, news aggregations, Google search intelligence, mobile apps and different ways to get to these things the correct way to understand all the different technology, all the hardware, the software, the apps, the search engines, the databases is as the ingredients of a very special personalised menu in our brains.
It is a menu we all make up as we go along. We consume media via our own understanding of the different options. When you are about to fry an egg to eat you might think “hey, I wonder what is happening in the world?” You then turn that need into an action which depends on what you have available and how you perceive those options. It would have been a transistor radio. Then a TV in the kitchen or – worse still – a very loud TV in the lounge that you just listened to while annoying everyone else in the house. Then that laptop in the kitchen streaming your a TV channel for news. Or your favorite news aggregator, Facebook updates or Twitter timeline. Most of us missed the futuristic $5000 fridge with the touch screen and now people are getting to tablets.
A tablet is essentially a smart TV. Mainly for consuming information as passively as possible. When they perfect the systems that detect eye movement you won’t even have to scroll up and down those Facebook status updates manually. So just give them better way to attach them to a fridge and we can call it a day.
The so called tablet revolution was essentially about how to stick another screen on my fridge.