What's starting to get pretty tired is web 2.0 and all this talk about the wonders of social networks, iPhones, twitters and everything else. In fact it's brutally tired. Not just because there hasn't really been a new killer app that garnered popular attention since twitter was released in 2007, but because it misses the point of what is so fascinating about all this stuff.
What is not tired and ever more fascinating isn't the existence of these tools, but what we are doing with them. The fact everyone can make a movie doesn't mean more good movies, means more crappy movies. No, no it really isn't interesting that most anyone can do what was done before. What's really interesting is seeing how people are using these things in ways never done before.
What we are gaining is a broader language for interacting with the world around us. iPhones and the ever increasing pool of touch devices are training the broader population how to navigate digital screens with multi-touch. This means we can navigate information, and increasingly narrative in imaginative ways. The first generation of touch was pretty lame, flip a Coke bottle or move some MM's (at least that's what the first prototypes we were shown did.) Right now iPhone apps show the most imagination in this space but with the flood of new advanced mobile touch devices in Q1 and Q2 this year along and the pending burst of Microsoft Surface type devices around the corner we're all going to get pretty good at this stuff, at least as good as people on the creation side can develop.
The same holds true for motion sensors like the Adobe thing or up here in Canada our Fruit Mirror. It's amazing how far techonology, and our expectations have come, even just back in 2006 it was kind of lame, this was all Nike could do, more of a gee wiz, look what we can do, rather than a relevant, informative and captivating experience. Worse are those washroom posters that play what amounts to be a radio ad when you're washing your hands. That's not helping anyone.
Moving picture and sound (ie. video) is getting amazing not because of visual effects, editing or other technical aspects (though they are ever more awesome.) Video is getting amazing because with less and less explanation we can get people to understand the context of one's message or intent. Wired's Clive Thompson in this month's Wired encapsulates this brilliantly with examples like Mad IV . Or how a broadcast sitcom like How I Met Your Mother can incorporate web content into the show, without "directing" viewers to them and they become part of the narrative and viewing experience.
In a time when all media is digital the definition of interactivity is evolving. It's not pushing a button it is how two or more things work together. Sometimes it's you and your phone, other times it can be how content across different media interact as part of the user/viewer experience.
Making predictions how this will evolve is foolish, but there is fertile ground yet to be sown. It's going to be great to see what sprouts.