For the odd moments I can manage to think of something.

Thought exercise – part two

'And suddenly there were a lot of screens...'

Hello again,

Thanks to everyone who added a comment and jumped into discussion with me about the thought experiment. This is the other half of it.

So, we were imagining that we live in a world with no TV/Radio/Internet. As Manu quite rightly pointed out – I think I missed out cell phones in there too – but I think you all sussed that bit out.
Thank you for the details of your scenarios too – lots to think about!

Now – I’m going to ask for some more complex imagining….again something I am struggling with a little bit but I’ll outline what I have and hopefully we can talk about it again.

In your world where you never had TV/Radio/Internet – one day you wake up and someone or something has come to visit. They have left something for you too.

For the purposes of the exercise you know instantly how to use these items (otherwise we’ll be here too long).

In your quiet home is now –
A modern TV with an internet connected set top box
A digital radio
A smart phone each
A laptop each
A tablet computer each.

All of these items can link to each other, you can pass media between them and your friends.

How would you link these things if you approached them from a standing start like this?
How would your family interact with the devices and all that media?
Would you think about accessibility and sharing with other family members if they needed it?

Although there are not many questions, they’re biggies to try and think around.
It’s easy to be influenced by existing developments and products – so none of those please. What I am looking for here is your personal want list for mixing your media across devices.

What do you reckon? Not easy from the ground up – but I find it easier now we cleared the deck to start thinking about it fresh.

Let me know what you think in the comments and I’ll respond and discuss as we go.


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10 Responses to “Thought exercise – part two”

  1. Amy

    My only thought so far (today…) is based around networking. Saving a file or a link on one device and being able to access it from any of the other devices – bookmark a page, download a file, favourite a radio station, and be able to access all that information from any of the others.

    • jemimahknight

      Is this something you can see yourself wanting from a new set up – or something you have trained youself to do with stuff we have today?

      Would the link/data swap be something you could gesture across physically or post a link and collect it on alll devices type thing?

  2. manu

    I think I’ll first call up my friends and call on my neighbours to ask them what they’re doing with all these things. Will update here after I do that, in a while 🙂 (this is heavy, need to think more)

    • jemimahknight

      It’s a big one isn’t it? I have trouble with this – it’s a bit like trying to wire a circuit when you’ve never seen one before and all the little bits can connect.
      By all means mull it over. I have trouble with it – which is why I thought it best to split the ideas into two parts – clear the deck and repopulate.

      That said, already the scope and depth of the comments on the earlier post are brilliant, so I think I have some great participants thinking with me 🙂

      • manu

        I’d approach these from 2 directions – utility and ‘interests’. In both cases, I’d first try to figure out the basic ways these devices can function (independently for starters).Once I’m done with that, ‘convenience’ enters the picture. I think I’ll have figured out my most favourite device by then. I might realise that I have a problem of plenty and see how the other devices can sync better with my fave device more efficiently.
        So, I’ll use the laptop to figure out programming basis my interests, and thus connect that with the radio and TV. I’ll start with the mobile as a utility (communication) and then walk my way to realising why its called a smartphone, especially when I see on the net that there are some cool apps. I’ll wonder if I really need that tablet!
        I’m assuming that though i was living in a world without these items, I had already made ‘networks’ of people who had common interests, or are connected to me by some context. Since I won’t immediately change my behaviour patterns just because i got a few gizmos, I’d still meet them IRL and the subjects of discussion would include how they’re using these and how we can be more connected.
        OMG, we’re back to Facebook and Twitter. Not even alternate realities can save us!! 😉

      • jemimahknight

        Hi Manu,

        This looks like the sort of path I might take too…sort of piece by piece exploration. Harder when everything arrives at once.
        I have a tablet which is faster to boot that my laptop…this might make me think on which to use – but yes a smart phone does throw up more possibilities and portability.

        So you’d link the LT to the tv and radio first and then work out habits from there…I knew there was a reason why I like your comments, that’s smart thinking. Would the laptop then control the tv and radio or would you port material to and from your tv to your laptop?

        I think I need to draw some maps for myself on this one. I’ll update soome of my thoughts on it soon too. Thank you for the reply though – I have so much to think about! And I probably owe you a cuppa at Infinitea when I pass through again.

  3. Adam Marcus

    Jumping in late, but here goes!

    It seems like the digital radio and internet-enabled TV are easy extensions of the same thing my family was used to beforehand. We’d have more consumption options by way of the youtubes of the world, but we’d fundamentally use them the same way: many-to-one interaction between the family and the box, with a bit more serendipity due to the variety of content providers.

    The tablet computer would provide a similar consumption analogy to that provided by a newspaper. The one person-to-one device consumption model would remain, and I’d be consuming more content than I produced. I feel that if the tablet was available at the same time as cellphones and laptops, it would be the gateway to the other devices because it is more similar to analog media. It would also be the device that seems to lend itself to exploration of competing content providers, rather than the single newspaper I’d probably been relying on until now.

    The cellphone and laptop would be the last to be useful for two reasons: network effect and production vs. consumption. First, we’d lack the immediate network effect of logging online. Cellphones, email, etc., are only as useful as the other people on the network, so adoption would be slow. The cellphone would probably see immediate value in connecting me to other family members (kids might have more freedom from parents who think they know where everyone is), but would take a while to see true value in communication until everyone else in the neighborhood got one. Second, the two devices (especially the laptop) would have slow adoption as content production tools. I’d imagine that growing up in a society where a select few produced content and everyone else consumed it, I would be hard-pressed to start creating from day one. The laptop would enable this, but it would take some time to use it. I wonder how things might be different had the tablet come out before desktops/laptops had in our lives. Would less people have laptops and desktops, or does everyone have a need to produce these days?

    • jemimahknight

      Hi Marcus,

      Thanks for this – it’s quite the reply. Sadly there is not really much analogue media in the set up to part two here. The point being to create new associations rather than making analogies to past media – this is why part 1 was all about clearing that deck.

      The examples you have given are very interesting but less about the connections between them – the question How would you link them – is the first point.

      Also – everyone has one – as illustrated in the explanation – so you’re all starting this together rather than waiting for anyone else to get one and catch up.

      It is certainly interesting that your focus is on content provision for consumption or indeed creating your own. That might be something to think about in relation to the questions listed – and very valuable ideas for the exercise.

      I’d be interested to know what you think if you take a look at the first part and add to that the linking of devices – this is mostly what I am hoping to explore and your initial answer here shows some really creative ideas. 🙂

  4. f.t

    From where there was none, there is now many. Thus, I would need them to function as one.

    I would want my moving picture devices to share a primary operating system or at least manual. (TV, laptop, tablet would share a link)

    The digital radio shares a connection with the smart phone and tablet or laptop but not with the tv. All accessible via my smart phone device or tablet.

    My reasoning:

    1) Coming from not having anything to having everything can be overwhelming, hence I need to be able to operate everything from a primary device. I chose both the smart phone and tablet for that job. mainly because a smart phone would be in my pocket on the move, which leaves anyone at home, without the ability to operate the equipment. So the tablet is the spare home control device.

    2) compartmentalisation: radio is not part of the primary connection to the main group. I need it to be different, to signify doing a different activity, the act of listening without watching and I want it to be portable as well. The act of separating these functions gives me the ‘illusion’ of what I once had, which would be doing a variety of things via a variety of mediums. It would prevent me from going stir crazy.

    • jemimahknight

      Hi FT

      This is v clear reasoning.

      I got stuck over the nothing and then all (i’m still drawing sketches of what I might want to be connected…)

      I agree that a single remote control would be good. But maybe that’s the software rather than the device – then all phones in the home (and out of it) can be the controller. I think also the phone makes a nice base for this – but i’d like the software to appear anywhere – including as a panel on my laptop – that way I could control the radio – analogue or digital or streamed through speakers….

      Hmmn – I still have a lot more to think on. Not to worry, I will have something to publish here as soon as I unravel the tangled yarn in my head on this one.
      All of these replies are making that a bit easier though.



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