3 Jun 2012
When I say web…
As might be apparent by now, I try to think a lot about where the web is now, but also where it is going (which really boils down to the question “what is the web anyway?” in a lot of ways).
So I'm always interested in exploring new devices, ways of interacting, both in practice and in theory.
What’s interesting in these conversations is often very experienced technologists think of the web and the browser more or less interchangeably. Which constrains the possibilities of the web as a medium tremendously.
In a similar vein, just as it has been for the last decade or more, indeed since the web transitioned from an academic tool to a more popular medium in the mid 1990s, our focus on what the web is, and might be, is typically almost entirely visual.
Of course this is a fundamental aspect of the web, but the web is not exclusively a visual medium. Nor is it exclusively a human-driven medium. Increasingly our interactions with the web are, and will be, passive (as I discussed in my first Pastrybox entry back in January). Indeed, increasingly it won’t be humans, but our built environment, our buildings and vehicles, the environment itself, that drives the web.
So when you think of the web, when you talk about the web, train yourself to go beyond fonts and colors and responsiveness.
Play with some of the emerging low-cost, easy to program sensor devices like Ninja Blocks, Twine, and others. Investigate the APIs that are in mobile devices, accessible to web developers via phoneGap, or on platforms like Windows8, and RIM's TabletOS and upcoming BB10 phone OS.
When I say web, I’m not 100% sure what I mean, but I know it goes far beyond the browser.