the blackrocket mobile manifesto
In the late 1990s, as one of the privileged few invited to play at SIGGRAPH's Guerilla Studio, I witnessed the explosion of the wearable computer in the hobbyist scene. These rogue devices were lightweight, battery powered, sported high-rez color graphics, had both camera and voice inputs, attached to a hip holster, utilized wireless networking, interfaced to headphones and a mic... wait a sec, what is this?
That's right. It's a smartphone.
It took more than a decade, but the wearable computer has finally arrived. And its subsidized. And its subscription based. The mobile phones of today are the computers we always dreamed of. And the interface is becoming more and more natural. Less buttons, more gestures.
The sensors are coming closer and closer to our flesh — heart rate monitors, microphones, bodymedia... and the outputs closer as well — in-ear headphones, augmented reality glasses with graphical overlays. The day of the audio/visual implant is nearing.
Finally, the devices themselves are fully aware of their precise location and orientation in spacetime, with accurate geo-positioning, cellular atomic time, and triple-axis accelerometers.
The App Store and the Android Marketplace enable seamless and simple distribution of code. Via automated app updates, the code is now alive. The code is connected, too, to both its creators, to the web, and to its peers. Apps are the new media.
The ubiquitous and agnostic network connectivity make the device always connected, able to both broadcast, receive, and share information at all times. Each and every user can opt to be a broadcaster.
In the 1990s, the only platform to develop for was the web browser. In the 2010s, the only platform to develop for is the mobile web, and the only media to create is the mobile app.
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