Image by richardmasoner via Flickr Look Ma, No Buttons At All!
The first time I wrote the title for this piece was almost a year ago. The brief summary I wrote then had to do with several ways it would be accomplished and some of the problems along the way. It was mostly focused on the browser being the ‘window’ into the machine we call the web, and how a new generation of browsers would be required to handle new types of information.
I never published that piece, and I never will. I can know that with certainty because I just deleted the thing. At first, I held back showing it to you because I had made a couple of comments in there I wasn’t sure of. After all, I’m some guy in North Carolina who dropped out of college an astounding 5 times. Sure I’m great-to-look-at and the pure life of parties, and I’ve almost got that ‘Jimmy Carter’ drawl down to an art, but I may not have a clue… In the end, I deleted it because I think I see a different future.
Regardless, as the past year or so has unraveled, my views on the subject have been refined slightly as to the future of the web. Google just released their Chrome browser. I never even downloaded it. Never even tried it out. Because I don’t care about the browser any more.
Don’t get me wrong. The browser is going to remain important for awhile longer. And I will most likely use Chrome at one point or the other. The browser will continue to be the main way I access the internet for awhile. But its place in the web’s future will not be the centerpiece it is now. I know it will have to go through a few iterations to finally become transparent.
But when it finally does become invisible, when we don’t even notice the software we’re interacting with, will it still be a browser? When it knows us each, as individuals, when it knows what we mean when we ask it a question, when we can ask that question whether we’re driving down the road or sitting in a restaurant, or watching a movie or sitting on the throne – when the web is everywhere, constantly available to us, will we still call that the browser?
Trans – apparent
I named my 1st computer. I named my second and my third and so on until we get to this one, the one I am using to write this, whose name is Ivan. I think that once the browser becomes that transparent, once the web is that truly ubiquitous, we humans will look at our interfaces from a more personal perspective. Our interface will be the same for us, regardless of where we are, trained to know us and respond to us in a personal way.
We will give it a name. I guess the most popular name will be ‘Albert’ or some other great scientific figure. Then again, ‘Paris’ could work. Imagine your personal assistant appearing holographically… you could get quite creative. I wonder how many people would keep the default ‘Paperclip’?