The recent advances in human-to-computer interaction should be scrambling your brain if you’re paying attention at all. From gesture interfaces (both 2D *and* 3D) to location-aware social media and the rapid adoption of connected devices, our relationship to computing and the increasingly ubiquitous network is changing dramatically.
Whereas I grew up in an era where we had to work relatively hard to get a computer to behave the way we wanted, kids today will grow up expecting computers to respond to them instead.
What is this trend going to mean to journalism and publishers? Getting closer to the leaders will help uncover some answers.
The app is populated using data from “dozens” of content partners, according to Google. Songkick (show information), Eater (restaurants), Flavorpill (events of all kinds), and Thrillist (hot cafes and shops) are there to tell you where to go and what to eat. Architizer (public art, interesting buildings), Remodelista (designy boutiques), and Inhabitat (a designy blog) are there for the nerdier stuff. You can turn any of these services on or off, or ask to see more or less of the items from each partner.
Also served to you are Google Offers, which show up as coupons and deals for nearby businesses, and restaurant reviews from Zagat, Google’s crown jewel in this space.
What kind of publisher is well-suited for a world where technology responds?
What does it mean for information to adjust to the way we move our hands, the way we slide our fingers across a glass surface, where our eyes are focused, and which direction we’re facing?
What does it mean for information to alter based on our location, places we’ve been and places we’re going?
How do you make information more physical?
The answers have yet to be invented, but there are some obvious ways to re-factor current assets and processes in order to get invited to the party.
- Atomize everything. Separate independent elements and link them intelligently. Well-structured information and consistent workflow help a lot with this.
- Add a concept of time and space to media. Location can be a point on the planet, a place, a geopolitical boundary. And time can be a moment or a period. And then look at adding more context.
- Standardize around formats that software developers like to work with. Offer APIs that can accept data as well as release data.
It’s about adjusting, being malleable and responding. Information, how it’s collected, where it goes, and how it is experienced needs to adjust according to the way the user is looking at it and touching it. It needs to synch with where in space and time the person is focused and interested.
More simply, make everything you do as software-friendly as you possibly can. And then go partner with people whose brains and financial incentives are inextricably linked to the new hardware and software.
This presentation may communicate some of these ideas more effectively than a blog post: