We live in the future

I am amazed every day by the technology around us.  My favorite way of expressing this is the phrase, “We live in the future”.  If you think about it for a moment, a simple thing like texting is mind-blowing: You can have a conversation with someone, any distance away, without actually saying a word. That’s a trip!

So, we have access to all of these new ways of the engaging our ingenuity and creativity. The smartphone might be the ultimate tool for this. Apparently “they” did a survey that asked teenagers if they would rather give up their sense of smell or their smartphone. The smartphone prevailed overwhelmingly. Why?

Like the Hubble telescope, which essentially extends our sense of sight so we can actually see the universe, a smartphone easily allows us to extend and expand at least two of the senses – hearing and seeing – in ways that we can control with a little configuration or code.

One of the simplest examples of this is SoundCloud.  It is a free service that allows you to share the music your create…And with their smartphone app you can record it and share it immediately.

Click to view

Take it a little further and you are using the phone to create experiences that did not exist before. A few months ago I had the chance to add augmented reality to a comic by Champoy Hate and create a layer that was only visible from a smartphone.  I used Layar.  It is a way to augment print with digital content and has a simple application interface.  I was about to animate and loop images to create the effect, which would have been much harder.  The video (warning: on the edge of NSFW) is available here.

The next step: It becomes another medium. I have a friend in New York using the iPhone to generate a series of photos using the zoom and edit features on the phone.  Musicians are using the sound making apps on their albums to add instruments and sounds we haven’t heard before.

The artists I know are excited about the possibilities, and the technologists I know are as well.  The possibilities for a productive convergence of these disciplines on this platform seems inevitable because it is the most personal sort of personal computer.  It is always with you, it is almost always physically close to you…it just seems natural to use it like the senses we came with naturally.

How are you going to conquer the creative world on mobile?

Composed on my Samsung Galaxy.

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Tags: , ,

Categories: Mobility

Author:Denise C Duncan

At CrownPeak, I think about how to make it easier to use our products by sharing our expertise and creating community. As a drummer, I keep it together so my 10 piece band can ride any idea out.

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6 Comments on “We live in the future”

  1. October 12, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Hi Denise,

    Thanks for that excellent perspective! You are so right. In all the commentary that I have been reading and the discussions I have had so far about mobility, smart phones, apps and so on, I sometimes think there is an underlying sense of apprehension, a sense of guarded appreciation to the potential all of this holds. To an extent, we are likely focusing more on the ‘disruption’ side of things and the implications that disruption is going to cause, rather than stop and smell the proverbial rose.

    Your post is a great reminder that while disruption is one fallout, there is something else that’s going on – the extension of our experiences, the escalation of joy. We are expanding that list of things that gets us excited, gets us thinking laterally – and allows us new expressions of our passions while at the same time, in fact, expanding the faculties our own creative expressions.

    I can never put in words how something like GarageBand made me feel. The dramatically new avenues it opened up to me to create and express something I have never felt the need to create or express, was incredible. Of course, I created no masterpiece, but it was a very personal moment of joy, nonetheless.

    And you’re right. We certainly live in the future. With all these possibilities, we want to push the boundaries of our joy, expressions, and life experiences.

    • October 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks. I’m grateful to live in an age when it is so easy to create rich content and experiences for yourself and others. And while it is important to think about how these can be leveraged, it’s these other possibilities that have kept me excited about my industry for years.

  2. Ron Webb
    October 12, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Denise, the thing that strikes me the most about the era in which we live and creativity is the proximity point that you make.

    In the past, the only thing that we had with us 24/7 that we could use to create anything (art, dreams, work, confusion) was our imagination. We then started carrying paper, but that was very limiting. You had to be a good artist to draw. My stick figures weren’t very artistic (at least not to me).

    Now, you have the smartphone with your and it has all these things (apps) that can extend your imagination or creativity beyond your capability. I would never be able to create the types of photos I create right now without the camera, filters, apps, etc. It applies to all types of art. Those we know about now and those the artists are creating on the fly.

    I can use the collective brilliance of others along with a basic understanding of the system (i.e., the music scale, structure of a poem, etc.) to create things I would never venture to create in the past. Then I can share it.

    To me, that is the power of technology. How it extends your ability to create art (Seth Godin’s definition of art, not the conventional definition).

  3. October 12, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    I can barely relate to the new creative possibilities you’re describing since I’m not a musician or artist and I don’t use many apps on my mobile phone. I come from the world of finding ways to improve work, and I wonder if you see any possibilities for mobile phones and apps to improve the basic processes of delivering value to customers, such as helping a customer find a product or service, delivering it to them, or answering their questions.

    • October 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      Everyone who has a smartphone can relate to this, I think. Do you take pictures on your phone? Do you share them with your friends and family? It’s so standard these days, but when you think about it, you are adding to their experience, their view of the world..You may not think of it is art, but I believe it is…I think Ron’s post above expresses it well.

      As for applying this to the world of work, I think observing the innovation of creative folks on the edge will show us how to us these tools in a more productive way – for example, I can think of a few ways Layar can add value to customers. Publications use it to add an augmented layar to their print publications – http://layar.com/blog/

  4. October 26, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    It’s funny how (at least when I was a kid) none of the popular sci fi stories like the Jetsons or Star Wars showed them getting the latest iOS version, or a whole new feature. So, the “future” would be a time where those new technologies were around long enough to allow everyone to understand all the capabilities.

    We live in a time of great change, and it often seems like knowing which apps to use or blogs to read is a full time job! 🙂 Art, though, thrives in that change – so many new mediums to explore, and the tools we have now allow even part time artists to create professional results.

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