The future of technology: Where would we spill?

Microsoft have been busy bees of late. In between predicting the future, embracing hackers with Kinect technology and killing possible tablet innovations I doubt they’ve even had to time to put the kettle on.

Microsoft’s second official foray into technology fortune telling ‘Productivity Future Vision (2011)’ was released on Tuesday, to mixed reviews. It is certainly glossy, with entirely UI designed environments, brand new ways of desktop working and some truly lovely communication touches, (ever wanted to leave a note on your kitchen wall from another country?) it throws up some interesting ideas. And boy, is it clean, I mean really, really clean. Eat your dinner off your floor clean.

Of course, this is a brand mood film, and as such is always going to be the idealised version of what we, the user would actually expect. But it does pose some interesting questions about how we would, and could use technology in the future. Namely, whether or not this is truly an ideal of how technology in 2021 would or should function.

David Jones, acting director of the video’s creator, on the future of productivity:
‘Nearly every surface can act as a crisp, contextually savvy display. Wouldn’t you keep your counter more clean if you could watch Hulu on it?’

Which is brilliant, great, really lovely. But… where do we eat?

At the pace our society is currently progressing technology wise, nothing in this film is that far out of reach (at least not in development terms, cost is another matter) But to be placing this work into its own sterilized environment, devoid of dust, dirt, drizzle and well, humans we seem to have missed the point somewhere – isn’t technology supposed to make life easier?

So come along Microsoft, spare a thought for those of us who do not carry round screen cleaner and cloth in a conveniently sealed bag, who drop the toast butter side down once in a while and may well forget to dust their future Hulu watching table. Or failing that, please do invent something that can stand up to the odd cup of tea? Ta.

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