(Slightly) Back to the (Near) Future—and Beyond

Here’s how things looked back in the spring of 2007.

Apple had announced (Jan, ’07), but not yet released (June, ’07), the first iPhone (and a good deal was known about how it promised to address some of the fundamental questions that had plagued earlier handheld device experimenters); museums were getting more serious about providing WiFi and phone signals throughout their buildings; and it was apparent to just about everyone that the newer networked technologies were giving people (especially the young’uns, who knew nothing else) a set of expectations unlike those held in previous generations.

Seeing a kind of convergence from a museum perspective, a certain non-profit laborer prepared the following slide for a symposium presentation at Longwood Gardens outside Philadelphia (click image to enlarge):

iPhone Equation

Three years (and thousands of apps and dozens of devices) later, the new normal is just starting to take hold. From the mainframe to the desktop to the laptop to the “personal digital assistant” to the smart phone to the slate, device evolution marches on—as do habits, behaviors, and expectations with which the devices conspire.

For a few more blasts from the past, see the following:

Being Digital Book image/link
Nicholas Negroponte’s Being Digital, 1995. (Read—or re-read—this book for a truly, weirdly nostalgic experience).

Crystal Ball image/link
A Look Into the Crystal Ball, 1962. (Salient quote: “Some day soon—maybe even before 1970 rolls around—we’ll find ‘electronic classrooms.'”)

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~ by jockuly on January 12, 2010.

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