So far, every major consumer technology revolution has been driven by changing the input and/or output mechanism: How the data is taken from thought, physically entered, and processed into bits of information. This is because the hardware i/o changes have inextricable implications on the platform. But as computers have moved out of the office and into your pocket — in full view of your friends — a new factor has become increasingly important in terms of market adoption for any new product: culture.
The internet was a major revolution in consumer technology that required no change in input mechanism. But while there was no change to input mechanism explicitly (no new physical device was required to access the internet, just new software), the internet meant that you didn’t have to personally input the information into your computer in the first place. All you had to do was search for it. As the internet has incrementally advanced, the amount of physical input required to input and access information has continued to decline. Now you don’t even need to search the web, you just tap a single button. What was the fuel for that incremental advancement? Compounding cultural acceptance.
Maybe the next i/o revolution is Oculus, but the only thing I know for sure is that it won’t be anything the culture rejects. Because culture is more than style and fashion, it’s context. Google Glass is the new Segway not because it’s aesthetically ugly, but because it’s socially ugly. Wearing Glass says too many negative things about the wearer in part because the power dynamic is skewed too far in the wearer’s favor. It’s not only about the wealth that owning Glass signals, it’s the “fuck your privacy I’m recording you at my leisure” or the “I’m looking at you but right through you” attitude. White iPod ear buds signaled wealth, sure, but only initially and never in a threatening way.
Artypapers began as an experiment by Rebekah Cox but became an escape and turned into a series of useful & fun applications. While most of the original applications have been deprecated, Scribble and the Blog still remain active.