Ubiquitous becomes invisible

I came across this great quote in the latest column by Bob Cringely:

Al Mandel, who helped market the original LaserWriter at Apple and later had several high-level positions at AOL, used to say that the step after ubiquity was invisibility, and that’s where we are headed today with IT, which has become so pervasive that everyone uses it to the point where NOT using it is no longer even an option.

I learned about Ubiquitous Computing in the early 90’s when I read about the work done by Mark Weiser, and to him ubiquity meant invisibility.

Generally this concept has been applied to hardware, the way chips have gotten into everything these days, like cars, toasters and razors, not to mention RFID chips (which, in some twisted way, add methods to objects since you can now interrogate item and get information from them.)

But I would suggest that it is happening to all our data too as we move to cloud computing. Data, documents, spreadsheet, music, video, etc.. are all migrating from our personal computers to some remote storage in the cloud where we can access them from whatever device we choose provided that it is connected to the network. Of course there are lots of issues to deal with here such as bandwidth, security, DRM, etc… but the signs are pretty clear, but already good bandwidth is making remote storage not so remote anymore.


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