Screen and Device Saturation
For editorial use. Outstanding answers will be featured on PSFK.com:
How many screens do you use in your life now and in an ideal world, how many would you like to have? Things to consider: convergence of devices, and emergence of screens for niche uses.
Public unpaid question.
Work : laptop (pro) + large screen + iPad
Home : laptop (perso) + iPad + iPhone
On the move : iPhone
For meetings : laptop (pro) + iPad
One important thing is that I've a DropBox account (pro) and a Mobile Me account (perso) ; without it (or any similar Google account sync) I wouldn't be able to switch from one place or one screen to the other.
Since I got the iPad, I use it as a 3rd connected screen at work : I'm working on Word and eMail on my laptop+screen let's say, and my iPad is open on iCal or Notes. And since the apps I use are synchronized through MobileMe with my laptop, I've the feeling the iPad is a 3rd screen connected to my working environment.
At the end, I must say that this 3rd screen has taken some of the use that were previously on my Laptop at home (movies, internet, clipboard, entertainment, ... ), and has replaced slowly my Moleskine notebook + Agenda + AddressBook at work ...
I have two - iPhone and macbook pro but would rather have three, add on an iPad and stop carrying around my laptop would be good.
I'd use the iPad for the device I carry around if I could as long as i didn't find the stooping over it a hassle which I began to do when i was using one recently.
Lion OS on a mac makes a big difference to make the laptop iPad-like and more fluid and intuitive, so maybe a new Mac Airbook might keep me off the iPad. The iPhone is a must, and the likes of Flipboard make me want to have an iPad again. My niche uses of logic pro for music make my macbook feel like my workhorse, reserved for more un-iPad-y dedicated things and less spontaneous and on-the-go things.
Everyone here has provided an excellent roundup of the (increasing number of) multitude of screens many of us rely on, on a daily basis.
My observation within the past few weeks: I've only had my iPad for about two weeks now but I'm finding myself watching Netflix (streaming) on my larger LCD TV less, doing emails on my Blackberry less, and the same goes for web browsing on my computers.
Even though I added one more screen to my arsenal (the iPad), I'm actually far fewer screens in aggregate. Is this just the customary honeymoon of a new toy or the consolidation Apple (or any Tablet maker) hoped for?
If Cisco had their way, we'd have even more (connected) screens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAdfYgEapT8
I think as people have been pushing towards, three is good. To me, it's like stationary size. You need a notebook, an A4 pad and a flipchart. So that's a smartphone, a tablet (or laptop) and some kind of big screen device. Regardless of the flavour of OS/tech, surely that's all you need?
I'm going to broaden the category a bit, because I think that many are looking at "screens" in a rather limited way.
The one screen that I am missing, but that my wife is getting me for my birthday, is an ereader. I read voraciously, and it would be nice to take lots of books with me wherever I go without weighing myself down.
- Desktop Computer - Built-in Screen
- Desktop Computer - External Monitor
- Laptop Computer
- Living room TV
- Bedroom TV
- GPS Heart Rate Monitor
- Movie Screen
"Basic Screens" (more than a basic control LCD)
- Cordless phone (x5)
- My wife's car stereo
- Traffic signs (detour routing, etc)
"Barely Screens" (anything with an LCD)
- My car stereo
- iHome stereo
- Meat Thermometer
- Medical Thermometer
- Tire Pressure Gauge
- Car computer (odometer, miles until empty, etc) (x2)
Currently I use about 3 screens, Blackberry, laptop and occasionally my work desktop.
And in my absolute ideal world, 1.
BUT -if and only if, that 1 screen could very easily, ideally intuitively, morph size and display for different uses eg. watching movies, reading and even to become just a portable size/weight like my Blackberry?
It may sound like i'm asking too much, but you did say in an ideal world...
• 11" MacBook Air
• 4" Google Nexus S
• 9.7" iPad
• 6" Kindle 3
In an ideal world one single screen would be optimal. A non-physical screen as a virtual layer on top of my eye's lens. Well, that would be the optimal, sci-fi, option.
The second best option would be a fold out soft, bendable, screen – different size and resolution depending on usage.
The third, and probably most realistic option, would be one hardware device which could be docked to different screens. The hardware, in the shape of a phone, acting as a 4" hub – an enabler – with all content stored in the cloud. Dock it into a 10" and you have a tablet, a 27" workstation, or a… bigger one when watching movies.
Ideally, would not like to use more than two, at the most three.
Currently, MB Air, Iphone, BB and Kindle.
Hoping that that iP5 has a fantastic battery life; will then be able to maybe just go with one phone. And ditch the BB.
The Air is indispensable. As is the Kindle for reading (quality of display and battery life)
How about an iPhone that docks in to the MacBook Air? Increases the processing power, shared memory, hotswap, battery charging... wishful thinking :)
- Android phone
- Samsung tablet
- Macbook Air
- iMac 27" at home
- iMac 21" at my office
- 37" flat screen TV
- husbands old iPhone for games I can't get on my Android
Right now, I have:
Desktop monitor, used rarely
Laptop screen: all day, every day at work!
Cell phone: texting all day, music for walks / runs / workouts
I feel this works well, except that using the internet on my phone is such a pain that I have to drag out the laptop to search for anything. Perhaps an ideal world would contain a cell-phone sized screen that handles internet well, and a wall-sized screen for arranging digital documents, etc. without printing.
The in-between sizes really are not that useful to me, only able to view one page of one document at a time. If I need to seriously organize a powerpoint or something, I have to print it out, lay it out (often taped to a wall) and physically move pages. What a waste, just to reorganize and print again!!
1 25' desktop PC
1 LGoogle Netbook Laptop
1 HTC mobile phone
TV? Yeah, a couple around the house but only because I like them as background noise.
I'm using 4 screens consistently; iPhone (24/7), 17" MacBook Pro (10/7), 42" HDTV (about 10 hours a week) and a projector (about 3-4 hours a week) which turns any surface into a screen.
I'd love to reduce that to the iPhone and a portable projector that brought surfaces to life.
It depends on the context really. The short answer is 3 - laptop, phone, & iPod.
But when moving to different environments, like others have mentioned, add a TV to the list.
Moving around the house, add 1 for the alarm clock, 2 in the kitchen (microwave & toaster interfaces). And on and on.
So again, it depends on the context, screens for work, media consumption, utility, etc.
By the way, does an analog watch still count? It's provides information through a piece of glass. Because I've tried to go with just the phone, but prefer the instant access a watch provides.
I just moved from Paris to London so have actually given this a lot of thought and this month starting from scratch doing the following:
For 'communications' I am diverging. Going from an iPHone to a Blackberry for work voice & email and a iPod Touch or HTC for personal email and data heavy apps. Essentially two mental environments - one work, one me.
For work have two - a laptop and a desktop screen. Latter is only used for low attention background streaming - rolling news stations, live events feeds (twitter, blogs, etc)
For entertainment will be doing a single TV that will play video (ie. anything with synched sounded adn moving picture) powered by a computer for station subscription (ie. the stations I want though may not be 'cable') stations like BBC, iTV and France 24 that broadcast through their sites and some form of movie/TV through AppleTV.
I have five screens in my life: iPad, laptop, iPod, phone, desktop at work.
Creative endeavors: the laptop for podcasting, updating websites, my desktop for some graphics
Email: use of the iPad, laptop, work desktop
Consuming media: iPad, laptop, iPod, and television; I generally only use the TV for morning news shows and background noise -- since I don't have cable and live in New York, my reception is very spotty and I only get ten or so channels but don't need the added expense of cable in order to watch existing shows and events; I play music on the iPod(s) and use Pandora at work
Business: generally only the desktop -- PCs are still better for dealing with excel and mailings; so even with creative personal projects, I use the PC at work to create and manage budgets and expenses
Calls: only my phone, which is just a phone! I don't want to have to constantly charge the phone and like the longer battery life that I get without a smartphone. And I have fantastic reception so rarely experience a dropped call or service interruption. In fact, I'd like to remove the camera on my phone but that is no longer an option.
It would be nice to have the iPad capable of wirelessly connecting to the TV to stream shows and to speakers to play music. It would be great also to have all Apple products more business friendly. I think I'll always have a minimum of 3-4 screens in my life but I'd love for them to communicate with one another a little more fully.
About six currently (a desktop at work, laptop and TV at home and a mobile, iPod and NavMan in between), and I'm comfortable with that many. I like separation between my work and home devices, and don't mind consulting different screens for different purposes, if they're well embedded in their context - I don't want to have to futz around changing settings on my phone to get at my music or maps.
Wow, now that I've thought about it I use a lot of devices at the same time. Here's my list:
2 iphones - one for work, one personal (this by design as I want to keep them separate)
2 computers - PC/Vaio home, Mac for Work
1 ipad for home use
I use each daily for copious amounts of time. Most often (except for a few TV shows) I'm surfing the web, personal texting, and checking my work phone for email etc., while I am watching TV. So, very often I'm using 4 devices concurrently, *sigh.*
Hope this helps and in a perfect world I would like to get it to 3.
I have 10 screens in my life.
1. Desktop - 3 screen- 25" touchscreen all-in-one with two 22" monitors. The perfect setup for having what you are working on center, email left, browser right. I could never go back
2. Laptop - For travel and business meetings. Using less and less. But find if I'm doing productivity work (PPT,etc), having a keyboard and touchpad are a necessity. tablets aren't quite there yet and I'm not wild about software keyboards.
3. ipad - It's a couch/bed screen. Getting news, movies, games and weather. If I get a snap-on keyboard I will probably get rid of laptop.
4. iphone - crappy phone but one of the most used screens for a device.
5. Kitchen PC - 25" touchsmart with TV tuner. It's the ideal screen for everyone in the household (even though the kids have their own laptops) Getting recipies, wife email and watching TV while getting ready for breakfast or dinner. Use it for music when eating.
6. Living room TV - Used for movies and watching Top Gear. That's it for me. The kids mostly use it.
7. Bedroom TV- Never use it. Wife uses it for watching something mindless while folding clothes. Or, the kids use it when I've taken over the living room TV.
8. The movie screen - We live in Austin and are fortunate to have the Alamo Drafthouse where you can enjoy a beer, meal and a movie. I had quit going to the movies for several years but this has brought the big screen back in my life.
In an ideal world I would be able to get rid of the laptop, living room tv and bedroom tv. I don't feel saturated at all though. The interesting thing is that for work, more acreage is better which means more screens or bigger ones. For entertainment I'm finding that I'm preferring smaller and more portable screens. I feel lucky to have so many screens to begin with. I'd love to see more screens that are integrated, connected and can recognize me everywhere. I'd like for them also to be physically integrated so that they are invisible when not in use. I love some of the concepts I've seen over the years from Corning and others. More ubiquitous access anywhere. I want be able to get rid of anything you have to carry around with you except an earpiece of some sort. It's like music. I collected albums, then cassettes, then CDs, then MP3s and now with Pandora and Groove Shark I don't have to collect anything ever again and I have access almost anywhere. I'd rather not collect any more screens but until they are everywhere I've created the most effective solution.
What I would like to dump:
The laptop - The ipad is almost there as a replacement. It's just not good at productivity apps for me yet.
The TVs - I find that I prefer the intimacy of the ipad or even the iPhone (with headphones) to be preferable. There is too much going on in the house constantly to actually enjoy something without disruption. It's not visual disruption, it's audio. I've found that I like the small screen and headphones better than the big screen. Unless the family is watching a movie together the TV is rarely on anymore.
Hope there was something insightful there...
Hi Nate! I think the big question is about how many screens do I use vs. how many do I own? In an ideal world I wouldn't like to own more than currently (the usual suspects: mobile, tablet/ePaper/laptop/desktop, tv, car navigation...). The future of the screen will be about having access to any (or almost any) screen that I like. My personal data will be in the cloud and/or on one or many of my personal devices. Whenever needed it will be streamed / delivered to the screen that fits my current needs (think about teamwork, screen size, mobility, haptic feedback, 3D content,...) or will otherwise be used to personalize the screen content. More screens or screens for niche uses will have to be ecologically sustainable and offer a real benefit.
I'll need at least two screens for the foreseeable future. I need screens dedicated to consumption, but different screens dedicated to creation. Leaning back to consume media will always be different from leaning forward to consume it. Today this translates to my iPad being fabulous for consumption, but my laptop continues to be my weapon of choice for creating work.
Since I can only do 50% of two things well at one time, I use one screen. If I hook my laptop up to a monitor, I close the laptop and make the monitor my only screen. Full screen apps in Lion, like iOS, makes focusing on my work even better.
I have three right now: a Macbook laptop (with external monitor for desk work); an HTC EVO View 7" tablet for when I roam, also to use in client meetings (unlike the iPad, it will fit in my purse) and, finally, an Internet enabled mobile phone. Note: I thought I'd spend less time interacting with the mobile once I got the tablet, but as it turns out I spend about the same time on it as before. Optimally, I'd like to have no more than two screens. I can easily see tablets replacing the traditional laptop.
To the disappointment of my significant other...lots. 10 to be exact if you count tv's, reading devices & built-in car gps systems. I love data and connecting so I am ok with the number. But it would be cool if my iphone converged/docked into my ipad, and the iPad docked into my car.
I use 4. Wish I had 5.
Dual monitor at work.
iMac at home.
iPhone on the go.
Would like an iPad for browsing around while at home (i.e. evening reading.)