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The Five-Screen Industry

The Five-Screen Industry

    Note: My Disqus social sign-in still doesn’t work but I got in direct. I saw the Disqus help in comments. Thank you. Not sure if what you changed fixed this. I hadn’t tried direct.

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    Sometimes governments promote technology standards that birth entire industries. The Internet is one example. GPS is another. And cellphones depend on the government managing who gets to use what bandwidth. 

    I’d like to see the government create (or ask private industry to create) a five-screen standard for cameras and apps so we can have this sort of configuration for work, school, and play.


    The standard would describe how drone cameras and other apps use all five screens. (For completeness, the standard would include 3-screen and 7-screen video surround options as well.)

    Imagine a drone with a five-camera lense, snaking its way down a Parisian street. The remote viewer with a five-screen workstation gets an immersive (albeit 2D) experience. Seniors could explore the world from the comfort of their wheelchairs. Students could see history come to life along a five screen time line. Workers could see all of their apps and notes across five screens.

    Those of you with multiple screens on your desk already know the joy of the extra workspace. But normally we are limited by our apps to two screens. I think a government push for a 5-screen standard would produce an avalanche of new product types. I could imagine these rooms as training pods for almost anything. Imagine watching a lecture while having four screens of supporting information that speak to every level of student. 

    Someday I expect most school lessons to be CGI generated. The more screen real estate, the better.

    And gaming. Holy cow.

    The five screens can be any combination of home televisions, notepads, workstations, laptops, and even phones. And the standard should adjust to the number of screens detected in use.

    You probably think that all the 3D technology in the pipeline makes this five-screen standard unnecessary. But if personal 3D is like movie 3D, many people will prefer the flat 2D experience. We probably need both. And keep in mind that the 4K televisions are probably what makes this standard take off. 

    This is where you tell me such a standard already exists. And then you tell me governments do everything wrong. 

    Is there anything good to this idea?

    And more generally, I wonder if a president should be in the business of creating standards to create industries. My gut says we should do more of it, not less. What do you think? Are there examples where government has screwed up trying to do this sort of thing?

    Update: VR will have a place, just as 3D movies have a place. But I think content creators will not be able to develop more than big hit games and apps with VR. 90% of the world (such as education) will be bound by the limits of the content creators. And I assume lots of people will get sick with VR, the way 3D gives headaches, but that’s just a guess.

    Some of you might know that I wrote a book about the best way to pursue success (systems versus goals). People seem to like it.


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