The journey inward

15 August 2017

The journey inward

What does a website look like when your phone and your eye are the same thing?

In the creation of digital products, we have a lot of flexibility with regard to the look of a website or app, how it behaves and exactly how we identify and solve a problem.

Before the iPhone, websites were exclusively on large screens on static desks. As of 2017, the public are largely comfortable with websites on much smaller screens and the advantages and complexity of a multi screen experience in daily activities.

So what will a ‘website’ look like in a decade? The two biggest frontiers at this point are wearables and virtual/mixed reality: Both bring the screen onto your body and 'project' onto the world. This introduces the idea of hardware as part of you biologically and the interface as part of natural reality.

We are very much a transient space where we play with what we as humans want to become in the future. A transient space to test what we are prepared to tolerate in terms of advertising. A space where we are going to collectively draw lines around what is considered public and private.

The reason this current transient space is so important? The frontier beyond it is far harder to change the parameters of once in place: A frontier where hardware and the interfaces that accompany it are inside us.

“We have been subordinate to our limitations until now. The time has come to cast aside these bonds and to elevate our consciousness to a higher plane. It is time to become a part of all things.”—Puppet Master, Ghost In The Shell 1995.

The idea of having technology inside our arteries, directly on our eyes and inside our brains may still sound far fetched to some. (An OS update in a pill anyone?) But the hints of whats to come already exist: Samsung Patented a Blink-Triggered Contact Lens Camera and in 2015, the announcement of tiny nanobot fish that can clean toxins from your bloodstream signal a future where boundaries of human and machine are less well defined. The digital and biological merge and any interface that comes with it is embedded within you. Maybe this interface wont even be treated as separate from what you currently consider 'you'.

(on technology inside the human body) “It will probably start in very small ways, acceptable ways. At that point, these interventions will be alot more difficult to turn off. I see software as a testing ground for the future. A place where we can put on the training wheels and get our ethics right, to develop social and cultural norms for how technology should relate to humans. Get it right with software, and when it becomes biological we will be on a much better path.”—Johnathan Harris in his talk Different ways of Looking.

As we experiment with creating websites, apps and digital products on various devices, we explore what makes sense and what does not. This process is very important as the ideas we accept today, will become the interfaces we use to control our entire lives from the inside out in the future.

What does a website look like when your phone and your eye are the same thing? It's up to you.