The Future?

This video was released about 8 months ago but I just came across it earlier this week and I’ve been thinking a lot about it. It was released by Microsoft Office and I guess is a strategic move to show that they are also moving into de future. So if I got you enough interested please take a couple minutes to watch:

So what do you think? First and foremost I have to recognize the effort in putting a video such as this with the amount of budget that probably took but how good is it. I remember a couple years ago Microsoft releasing a similar video about Surface. The technology was just out there the multitouch interface, and they presented this video where people interacted with this table, and was part of a restaurant and cubes and at least back then they made me believe that they were actually developing that product for sale and that by now you would see it at least somewhere important, maybe not in the living room but somewhere and making a big fuzz. It made me believe that Microsoft was up to something cool that would finally compete with Apple. Truth is, a couple months later Apple announced the iPad and changed the game.

I see this video, and I say, wow if they are able to develop this I will be amazed and they will kick Apple’s ass. I think of that moment I guess it will happen. Its like Nintendo, it ruled and suddenly bam, Playstation and the XBox came to own the market, then the Wii came and it got control again, and then XBox Kinect landed and now we all think it rocks. I think sometimes on who is going to come back to Apple and kick his ass.

But I find cheap that a company like Google and their glasses, and Microsoft with this video are actually presuming they have that technology when in the past 5 years none of them have brought a break through technology into the game, but Apple has, and several, and in several ways. You see, Apple does not have a futuristic video, but I’m sure they have a vision like this one. While Microsoft and Google which to me are the only ones who have a chance right now to get back in the game are just portraying their vision without actually achieving it.

What do you think was the purpose of this, and all those other videos? Leave a comment.


iSlate? Apple’s New Tablet and Jetsons’ Theatre

Ok, that may not be the best title for this post but it could have been worse. I have posted earlier a bit on how I think things are starting to evolve but there are two main things that as a gadget geek don’t seem to stop impressing me: Apple and Social Media. Its no secret that I love Apple and why. But Social Media is something that I believe is just starting to take over, and that it will slowly will take over basically everything we do. I just started using Gowalla and I think its a tool that will start growing into something important.

The big thing for me is Theatre right? So how does Social Media and the new Apple Tablet (tentatively called iSlate, just speculation) come together with theatre. Well the truth is that it doesn’t but I dream of a close future where it does and this is how I think it should be. If you are reading Steve Jobs, think on us theatre guys more often please.

Us guys in theatre production carry around a whole bunch of papers: Scripts, Plots, Plans, Drawings, Calendars and Schedules mostly. Half of the day we spend it actually sharing these papers with a whole bunch of people, we do modifications to it, we share it, we reprint it and some of us started using laptops but we still go from one paper to the other because honestly, who wants to carry around a laptop onstage? Nobody.

Now there will be a new product that we don’t really know exactly what it will do but here is my dream if you are dreaming or if you develop software call me because we have some business to do:

Imagine that it will be magic paper where we can read all this information and share it. And this is where social media starts to kick in. Imagine that you can tell in a map where all your cast is, your designers etc, then you can send them information on rehearsals. That you can automatically have new versions of the script without loosing your notes when you are working on a new piece. Imagine that as an actor you can make blocking notes with pictures, voice recordings, videos right on your script, or you could pull those of a Stage Manager. Calendars that change automatically. Level sessions where you can take your piece of paper where you have your cues recorded and take pictures of your work at the same time. Where you can instantly video chat with a colleague just by clicking his name wherever he is. This will improve communications and the way we work.

So what is the problem? Dinosaurs. Yes, you may think those guys stopped being a problem millions of years ago but no. People still refuse to use e-mail in some places or you can’t count with people reading them. The very first step is to embrace technology and stop thinking that it is some kind of demon that will take over our souls. It is not. Our soul is not going to go through an e-mail. So please, step one, embrace technology and use it, to its full potential. The amount of free tools out there in the internet is ridiculous and with things like the iPhone and Nexus One they are just getting simpler and simpler but if us as theatre practicians don’t jump on that bus, we are doomed to expensive and long theatre productions. Let computers take care of the machine so we can take care of the art ok?

What do you think? Do you imagine a Jetson’s future for theatre production? Would you like it?

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