Technology analyst Ben Evans was pondering the next possible revolution in computing platforms: the PC, the smartphone. This triggered me to give my thoughts about the future of the desktop or laptop computer (I will call them PC). I posted a quick comment, but will elaborate here a bit more.
It is important to separate device from the usage setting. There will always be a need for a creative, focussed work environment to capture your ideas. I do not think that we will ever witness the moment where we can do serious design work on the go on a small device. Creative means, focus, concentration, and an organised clutter free spacious environment.
No, smartphones and tables (current screen sizes) are not going to be the dominant platform for design work (that is why I am launching SlideMagic for bigger screens first).
Having said that, the PC as we know it could totally change. Design work requires some form of big visual interface, and some form of human-machine interaction. What is in between can be completely different from the form factor that we know today.
Technology might advance to such a level that all PC-type processing power, storage requirements, and power supply can easily fit in a smart phone-sized device. And I think that is the future. Everyone carries one piece of hardware with them that contains these functions, but also serves as a wrapper for our security credentials.
Screens could evolve drastically (remember that touch screens were the big driver behind the smartphone revolution). We could see very large tablet style devices for design work. But maybe e-ink technology will enable the creating of super thin, super light, paper-like foldable screens The same is true for keyboards and mouse controllers. Maybe that same screen can spread out in front of you and creates a combined input device and visual screen for your work?
Screen innovation should go along software user interface innovation. Many of today's productivity tools are still based on old working practices. Mouse-based drawing, type writer-style keyboards.
SlideMagic is already working to innovate the user interface. Now the screens need to follow suit.