It’s been a long campaign, one that many thought impossible, but look what the last few days have brought:
- Almost the entire consumer-electronics manufacturing industry has implemented common presentation layers, across devices… you still have native apps when you want to go deep, but the HTML multi-runtime and Flash single-runtime environments are the cross-device ways to bring presentations, interactions, and communications to global audiences.
- We’re starting to see workflows which can span print, web, and devices both open and closed… the WIRED Tablet demo migrates existing Adobe design and production workflows into both cross-device AIR and device-specific native code. There is a practical path to delivery.
- We’ve also seen the emergence of cross-device app stores, where developers can meet their audiences regardless of which brand of device they prefer. Finally, an opening-up of the consumer marketplace.
The Open Screen Project seemed a near-impossible challenge two years ago… to not only engineer a consistent display engine across workstation, pocket screen and home screen, but also to garner the industry support to implement this at a deep level, integrated with the hardware. I have never seen a software initiative with such ambitious goals, such deep and widespread support from partners, all implementing new things in concert with each other, floating target synch’d to floating target. Player Engineering has done a gargantuan job — no other group understands the new class of devices as well as they. The business coordination has also been amazing. Someday someone will write a book….
To finally see the results on realworld devices is very gratifying… low-cost tools available to nearly anyone in the world, communicating as they wish with the rest of the world. It’s like the first woodblock printing of books, or the first radio signals… after this achievement, the world will simply be a much different place.
This month we’ve got proofs-of-concept. It will be a little while until 1.0 manufacturing ramps up, until audiences build, until those concepts are refined by the feedback of daily use. There are challenges ahead… we need to not only adapt our existing work for this new class of universal pocket device, but also to develop the new types of applications which will be most useful, once anyone’s screen can call up any information anywhere, can convey voice and video from friends anywhere, where the local environment itself can be augmented by your networked pocket device. I think the next few years will be exceptionally exciting. Getting past the hardest part, of building up to proof-of-concept, is what now lets us start designing for those futures.
It has been a long campaign. Polling may help show probabilities. And the last few weeks of many campaigns are filled with wild rumors and shockers. But election day is the marker which establishes the future. This week we finally saw realworld demos of technologies soon to be in mass production, across the entire consumer electronics industry. There’s lots more work left to do, but this fantastic campaign has finally won through. Presentations, interactions, and communications will never be the same again.
Your new job: What would you like that future to be like? You can start working on it, now….