Just One Device

by Randy Murray on June 3, 2013

I’m tired of all the debate over which class of device is best to use. Is it the phone, the tablet (and which size tablet), the laptop, the desktop, or some form of wearable computer? It’s boring and fruitless to debate this.

I no longer think about which device to use. I just use the device that’s at hand and right for the task. Computers, phones, tablets—these are all outdated names for things that we used to do with the ancestors of today’s devices. Most of us don’t compute, we rarely make voice calls, and what the hell is a tablet anyway?

For now, while I use separate devices, I’m beginning to think of them as a single experience: pick up the nearest one and use it.

And that, I believe, points to the future of computing. It isn’t just having to decide which device of many to use. It’s a way of using devices that makes everything one needs to do simple, seamless, and that get out of the way of the task of the moment.

Here’s my vision of idealized computing: any device I pick up or touch is my computer. And what device would that be? It may be something that looks like a piece of glass that I carry in my pocket, or perhaps bigger pieces of glass, plastic, wood or metal, left in waiting rooms or scattered across business offices and throughout our homes. Whenever I’m touching or using one of these things, it becomes mine. It has my tools, my information, all presented to me in the way that I’m most accustomed to and comfortable with AND perfect for the size and shape of the thing I’m currently touching/using. When I’m done, it’s just an inert thing again (a magical, powerful piece of potential), ready for the next person to pick up and use.

This vision is not far off now—perhaps far closer than most people think. It’s really more of a matter of software and seamless cloud architecture and ubiquitous high-speed Internet connectivity than of hardware.

I don’t want to have to think about which application to use and what device it runs on. I just want to write, read, look up stuff, record pictures, video, and audio, play, explore, and more. I just want one experience that’s not linked to a particular physical device.



Copyright © 2013 Randy Murray. All Rights Reserved.

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