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Inside Microsoft's 2019 Vision Video

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By now you've probably seen Microsoft's Productivity Future Vision video, also known as the 2019 video. But why does Microsoft make envisioning videos? What's the process? Is it all vapor or are we really going to see some of these things in upcoming products? I met with Director of Envisioning, Ian Sands, and he walks us through the process, the hopes, and the challenges. Ian tells us what we need to keep an eye on in the short term (input devices for one) and what things are on the farthest edge of the ten year vision. Find out what Skinny Puppy, Dreamliner, and Cradle to Cradle have to do with the video.


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  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    Personally, my criticism of the digital boarding pass wasn't that it's impossible to interact with it from touching the back (LucidTouch has been around for a while now) or that it's a thin card (so has e-paper), but that in 10 years, airlines will somehow feel that it's in their interest to create an expensive touch-enabled e-paper device for their boarding passes that does exactly the same thing as normal paper passes with a barcode on it that cost virtually nothing.

    I would've found the video much more believable if stuff like that happened on a single device like a cellphone/PDA (which everybody seems to be moving towards, rather than individual e-paper devices for everything), or if it was Microsoft's vision of 2039.
  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    First, I think the future is based around options. You might want that boarding pass on your phone, you might want it on a small ticket, or you might want a paper printout. Second, the idea is that in the future, OLED is going to be so inexpensive to create that it isn't expensive at all. I remember about ten years ago someone told me about how in the future cereal boxes will have cartoons playing on the back for kids. I didn't really believe it at the time, but that's where things are heading.

  • BasBas It finds lightbulbs.
    Yeah, that's where it's heading, but it's still a ways off, so at least that 10 year prediction didn't turn out to be true. And likewise, I have trouble believing that in only ten years touchable OLED tickets are going to be cheaper/as cheap to produce as regular paper tickets, putting ticket information on someone's cellphone, or having passengers print out their own boarding passes at home. All these things do exactly the same thing as the touchable OLED card, but are (for now) a lot cheaper, and even if they cost exactly the same (which, with a stretch, I -might- see happening in 10 years), what's the motivation for airliners to produce them?

    I don't know. It all seems technologically possible, but when I was watching the video I just couldn't imagine why anyone would invest in this instead of in the more boring alternatives in the next ten years. Maybe in 2029 or so, but ten years? It may be a long time in tech, but it's not that long.

    Long story short: it's almost ten years past 2000, and I still don't have that flying car that, for decades, people told me would be mainstream by then. My expectations of future marvels are limited, especially in the short term. Tongue Out
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    Thanks for digging into this Larry! Can we see more on Futures?
  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"
    @Charles - You will see more futures. Smiley

    @Bas - Reach out of the paradigm, Bas. You assume the airline gave that to her. Maybe it's a new Kindle type device that she always has with her. Use it as a biz-card handshaking ID badge at a conference, a map when going to dinner, and a bluetooth 'these are the emails on the phone in your pocket' display. Maybe it's your driver's license/credit card/boarding pass/passport all-in-one device. 10 years ago I don't think anyone thought we'd all have half of what we do on our desks. Ultimately it's all what you, as the consumer, champion for and adopt that will drive us forward. I don't believe products like Surface and Photosynth would be where they are today if the public (and developers) weren't so stoked about them.
  • Sven GrootSven Groot Don't worry... I'm a doctor.

    Speaking of the airplane bit, one of my favourite things is that the airplane she's in appears to be (based on) the 787 interior, which is a nice futuristic touch. Is that correct, or am I simply imagining it because I like the 787?

    EDIT: It would help if I watch the video first, which in fact answers that question. Smiley

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    Let me check on that for you.

  • Bas in the situation of the future, you need to think outside the box, you never will know if it will work unless you try. those statements have been around forever, and i find them to be true. Imagine, if we didnt say "well what if we could move things with a circular piece (wheel)" then well, we would be low tech but wouldnt know it Tongue Out

    i believe we are around to improve our stature of living and advance, there was a blockage (and still is) named religion, people are afraid to change and act in violence hiding behind religion. i gave up on religion (well never cared at any time) but i still respect others religions. the problem is that these people are going to be left behind if they dont move ahead with us.

    Technology has surpassed religion for ages now. Move on up to the future Big Smile we will never be 0's and 1's we will always be human, we wont lose our personalities or privacy, so no one should ever be afraid of change

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    There aren't any links yet to direct downloads yet. Sorry.

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