Whether people believe it or not, it is quite possible that, within a decade or so, we'll already be living in a world of interactive buildings where practically every surface and every wall will respond to our presence in some fashion.
Pretty much everyone is at least loosely familiar with the Sci-Fi genre and how what was fiction ten to twenty years ago now isn't.
Apparently, yet another tech dream is about to come true, and quite sooner than some might think.
By way of introduction, much has been said about tablets
and how their reliance on touch input is going to revolutionize the IT industry altogether, since keyboards and mice, though very slowly (for now), are losing relevance.
Gartner actually looked into this very prospect
, leading to predictable (though not set in stone) assumptions.
"During the next five to 10 years, media tablets will instigate change in computing form factors; modular designs will enable tablets to take on new functions, becoming the cross-platform controller and brain for hybrid consumer electronics and computers," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner.
"Tablets will be substitutes for several of the consumer electronics consumers often carry with them. Thin-and-light mobile PCs with tablet-like features will become mainstream, pushing out some bulkier PC styles that have been the norm."
Maybe all these expectations are a bit outlandish, maybe not, and time will have to be the judge of that.
What is, however, more or less certain is that, even if not in the tablet format, touch-based interaction will spread and, as that happens, so will face and voice recognition, and other such inventions that don't even need physical contact with the user.
The only other thing needed to set the basis for a truly futuristic world is an appropriate means to implement and show the effects of this interaction.
Samsung may have already invented
something of the sort, namely a display technology that relies on glass and is, simply put, fully transparent.
The company actually outright said that it expects the world to have adopted display windows and the like in ten years, which is about the same time it will take for touch interfaces to become a part of everyday life.
It gets easy to image a window switching from a mirror to a TV or monitor, or just acting as a light source for the whole room, all at the press of a button.
All things considered, it will be surprising if the world doesn't reach the stage of truly interactive buildings during our lifetime. Here's hoping no catastrophe wipes us out before that happens, like in a certain other kind of science fiction.