We have in one type of connected displays, a digital signage network if you will. This allows us to change content, update ads and receive feedback. This is one type of connectedness, which I call “Linear Connectedness”.
In 2009, we were introduced to multitouch monitors, MediaTile’s Human Kiosk and Gesturetech’s new Cube, which allows for gestural engagement through moving ones hands or body. All of these add another type of connectedness, which I call “Participant Connectedness”. Another type of digital signage participant connectedness came with the leaps in mobile and User-Generated Content (UGC), adding a new and deeper level of lasting participant connectedness, which I call “Latent Participant Connectedness”. This latent connectedness is hidden, in that the viewer participates now and later through an ongoing dialog through mobile.
We also recently were introduced to the new MicroTiles from Christy Digital, a system that has a new type of connectedness where each cube is stacked or placed side-by-side and each screen knows it is connected to the other. I call this “Linear-Spacial Connectedness”. This is the first step to a connectedness that evolves to something I call “Spacial Connectedness”. Spacial connectedness comes from the term "spacial operating system," coined by John Underkoffler, chef scientist at Oblong.
What Oblong has been doing is essentially teaching the machine about space, and its position in it, using what is essentially a new concept for an operating system. In this new world, the machine no longer thinks of the screen as a flat, abstract collection of pixels but as a real object, in the real world, that exists at a particular location and has a relationship to other things in the environment based on that location. It is also aware that the pixels it displays have a particular size based on the screen in use. There are small screens and big screens. And the screens are at a particular orientation. It’s mounted on the ceiling, it’s mounted on the walls, it’s on the hinged top of a laptop, it’s in your pocket. The point is, it has a particular location that matters with respect to the viewer.
When one begins to think about how this relationship works within the bounds of a display and then expands the thinking beyond just one display, one then opens the mind to even a different world of content and interaction. When we look and the type of connectedness this will drive and the type of content that will need to be produced, it becomes apparent that each type of connected system will require its own set of rules and its own connected content that drives the truly engaged experience.