So Apple’s iPad has been unveiled. I am somewhat disappointed by the first incarnation, cool and all as it is, it is not useful enough for me as it stands. No doubt it will improve over time and eventually there will be a version that has two tablets which fold together, cameras, projector and 3d hologram with an LED pen to sketch on one side while it live updates on the other. It would also allow conversion of handwriting to text on the fly giving an alternative to noting your thoughts as opposed to speaking them out loud with the auto dictate voice feature also included. While I wait for this reality I will go about using my own system and optimizing the organising of files.
The main problem I see with the iPad is it’s closed operating system following on from the iPhone. Everything goes through Apple’s iTunes store and must get their approval. The eco system is entirely Apple’s. This is a great thing for Apple but is it for the creative content market? Now books will go the same way as music in their digitisation. Apple and Amazon will have the market for their own proprietary devices (but how quick will the Kindle sink?) making moving your purchase to another device difficult or undoable. Apple’s patents on multitouch have put the fear in other technology makers that they will be sued if they go down that road, but this should not be the case. I’ve seen multitouch prototypes going back as for as Sonar 2003. Multitouch is the future (sure, it was in PK Dick’s “Minority Report”!) and it’s use in interface design should not be restricted. This technology alongside augmented reality will change how we interact with computers with extraordinary improvements. Combine Microsoft’s Project Natal, Vuzic iWear and multitouch devices and we bring the virtual world to life.
I welcome new operating systems which are designed from the ground up for multitouch. I don’t have a problem with the iPhone / iPad operating system, but I would like to have full control of it (without having to jailbreak it) and install apps from other vendors, as well as build my own personalized apps just for my own use. But most of all, I would like to see the continuation of OS X as a gesture controlled operating system which works on the iPad or using the iPad as an input device for another computer (a VNC client supporting multitouch?). As for other technology makers, I hope they push on with using multitouch on their own devices. We need open application development without gatekeepers.
We are at a time now in the development of our technology assisted future where we have reached a crossroads, whereby the openness of the Internet is at stake. This week, Sourceforge have blocked access to their site to IP addresses originating in China, Iran, North Korea, Syria and Sudan in response to Hillary Clinton’s “solution” to censorship, “more censorship”. Apparently this falls under trade embargoes with these countries under US law and Sourceforge have taken it upon themselves to block access to the site. The site hosts open source software and acts as a community for developers of such. The restriction of open source software flies in the face of the ideals of the open source movements. It flies in the face of the nature of the internet.