Tabloid, Tablet, Touché!
In less than a year, this toddler was viewed over 3.9 million times on YouTube. She received almost 7,000 likes, but also 3,500 dislikes. What’s so special about her?
The video shows how a 1-year-old tries to scroll and zoom in on a magazine the same way she would on an iPad. The little girl puts her finger on the sore spot: with the new generation being able to interact with touch screens before they can read their own name, the era of print may be coming to an end. Or, as the maker of the video puts it: “For my 1 year old daughter, a magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work. It will remain so for her whole life. Steve Jobs has coded a part of her OS.”
If the launch of eReaders such as the Kindle and Nook made one thing clear, it is that the future of print is a very sensitive topic that sparks endless debates. No surprise then, that there are about 3,000 comments on a video titled “A Magazine Is an iPad That Does Not Work”. But is “the end of print” really what this playing child stands for?
What we witness is more than a toddler preferring a tablet over a magazine. It is a paradigm shift, a change in the way we think, feel and act. We are moving away from the traditional world full of one-way communication, and entering a world where interactivity is omnipresent.
Augmented reality apps such as Blippar are starting to pull the noninteractive reality that surrounds us into this new paradigm, albeit channeled through “interactivity devices” such as phones and tablets.
If it’s up to Disney, that step will soon be superfluous. I’ll be able to switch my reading light on by picking up a book from my bedside table, change the temperature of my shower by standing on tiptoe or even make a cup off coffee by opening my newspaper. I’m talking about Disney Touché, the touch and gesture technology that will give us all the power of magic.
Touché is a highly advanced touch sensor that monitors multiple frequencies in order to understand different types of grasps, complex gestures and body positions such as crossing your legs or picking your nose. All that’s needed to turn an everyday object into a Touché device is a single electrode that can be embedded in the object and connected to the sensor controller via Bluetooth. I wouldn’t be surprised if this type of technology will cause a revival of print, not in the least because this medium has unique tactile and dynamic opportunities.
I’ve always thought that clapping your hands to dim the lights is a bit naff. But Touché is not a gimmick. It is a symptom of the new paradigm of interactivity. A paradigm that will come naturally to the little girl in the video.