The Social Table: The Coming Horror

Watching a video attached to this Gizmodo post, Full-Screen Multitouch Mac OS X Is Here (But Not from Apple), I nearly threw up in my mouth thinking of the implications.

Microsoft’s Surface was pretty cheesy, I thought. As well as dumb.

It took a simulation of OS X to open my mind to the full horror of what is coming. Inevitably coming.

And probably first to Starbucks.

I call it the Social Table.

Imagine (please brain, stifle my gag reflex) sitting down to an Intelligent Table that is hooked into the Internet. In fact, it’s just one big-ass computer.

But you can log into it.

Tech Fiends such as James Kendrick could leave his notebook at home. He could actually get some work done on a Starbucks Social Table. Or simply be entertained by it.

The one thing missing from that dumbass Microsoft Surface demo was the social implications of it.

You can create a personalized and customized UI that will allow you to follow the Vanity Stream — Twitter, FriendFeed, Flickr, ad nauseum.

And call up an on-table keyboard to reply.

Sign into Second Life and do whatever those nitwits do there. Check techmeme to see if your crap merited being scrawled there. Look at reddit to see if those eejits are still flogging Ron Raul.

There will also be instant Tic-Tac-Toe, instant Checkers, instant Chess — and, for you really sad bastards, instant Solitaire.

The variations are as infinite as they are nauseating.

Leave behind notes for people who will show up later. My god! I’ve just created TableMail!

Play games or chat with people in other frikkin Starbucks — something you will need because if you find this future appealing, you’re the kind of person without real social interaction, so the thought of playing with a stupid table probably makes you drool.

Really, I have to stop here. I’m getting sick.

Oh, and that screensnap above? It’s from a TV series you probably never heard of. Star Cops. Made in 1987.

That’s right. A TV writer thought of it before Microsoft.

Still think you’re so frikkin smart?

Microsoft Surface Parody

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5 Comments on “The Social Table: The Coming Horror”

  1. Snafu Says:

    Such a Table is an UI amplifier, nothing more and nothing else. It’s not as if your disaster scenario isn’t already happening via desktops, laptops and cell phones, so I don’t see it adding that much to the current Web 2.0 social networking silliness.

    (The cell phone part was quite interesting, really. What with the minuscule UIs most digital devices sport these days, the idea of simply putting them into a table and producing a handier bigger UI and be able to connect devices in such a fashion is quite attractive)

  2. mikecane Says:

    >>>the idea of simply putting them into a table and producing a handier bigger UI and be able to connect devices in such a fashion is quite attractive

    You’ve already been turned.


  3. Loved the parody! Gotta go play with the kids. :)

  4. Loren Heiny Says:

    Multi-touch will be a feature, just like the function keys on the keyboard. You won’t be forced to use it; there will always be other ways of doing things.

    Now on a small, single-user display (like the iPhone) multi-touch provides some gestures that you can optionally use, which kind of makes sense since the device is so compact and using gestures reduces the need to have the display or device cluttered up with more buttons.

    Same would go for a larger display. A difference, though, for larger displays is that you might have the opportunity to have multiple users. Take a classroom-sized multi-touch wall, for instance. Do you want to limit people using that surface to just one person at a time?

    Multi-touch also makes sense when you lay the display flat, which is something we’re not used to yet because for most people–except those that have a Tablet PC possibly. Once you have a horizontal surface with multiple people around it, you’re going to find that more than one person at a time instinctively wants to touch the display at the same time. Again, why limit its use to one person at a time, if it’s easy to enable this capability and not get in the way of anything else?

    Capabilities like multi-touch, handwriting recognition, OCR, image processing, and the like are going to have different value for different people. Makes sense. Some people may not see any value for them. Others may love them. What’s the big deal? Does everything have to be the same for everyone?


  5. […] The Social Table: The Coming Horror Stage6: Star Cops […]


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