March 24, 2013
Up And Coming Tech: 3D Desktop
The fine line between innovation and advancement is blurry, if not absent. Be that as it may, computer technology continues to shock and awe me every day. Thirty years ago the concept of a computer in every American home was unfathomable to the general public. And rather than craft a product that was dependent on the population, tech manufacturers made a product that the population depended on. Could you imagine your life without a smartphone or laptop?
Desktop computers seem like the most forgotten pieces of technology when held in comparison to smartphones and tablets. More than likely the reason for this stems from those pieces of technology still being something that the public “needs.”
What are your needs? Do you need Facebook or Twitter? Do you thrive on playing Words with Friends, and is that the only form of social interaction you possess? Have your emotional and practical desires in everyday life shrunken to such tiny pieces of hardware and software on which you find yourself dependent?
Let’s avoid the obviousness.
As I said before, desktop computers hardly receive much innovation short of software updates and custom part manufacturing. What this means is that a billion dollar industry is quietly thriving in the dark. But Jinha Lee has an objection to that standard. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate made quite the stir last year when he revealed the ZeroN, a 3D ball that records its movements, as those movements are controlled by a user.
This year, Lee will be making more ripples in the pond with his 3D desktop, not currently named, as of yet. But when you have a computer that allows you to reach into its screen and grab web browsers, preview windows, and third party apps, you hardly need a name. Lee’s new invention utilizes two different cameras; one to view the users gestures, and one to view the user’s eye direction to provide screen adjustment and accurate touch on different items on the background.
While I admire the man’s efforts to make a desktop computer relevant again, I can’t ignore the fact that this invention simply doesn’t add anything useful to sitting at home on your computer.
I think what’s important to highlight about the smartphone and tablet market is that people ultimately need these machines, but not in the hunter/gatherer sense of the word. Why do we need them? Because regardless of the past thirty years of Apple vs. PC debates, and despite the numerous marketing campaigns that try so desperately to appease consumers, they still don’t like desktops.
They’re big and bulky. They also take up lots of space where a much more important dirty clothes basket or dresser can go. In short, people don’t respect the craft that is a desktop computer. They’d rather be appeased with hand-sized screens where they can more easily access Facebook and Words with Friends.
You can’t be a part of the crowd with a desktop computer; but keep dreaming, Lee.
Image Credit: TED