The six minute video, “Productivity Future Vision (2011)” provides an interesting glimpse into our future which MAY be increasingly filled with cloud-based data accessed on differently sized, touch-based devices.

This video is part of a new marketing campaign by Microsoft and General Motors called “Productivity Future Vision.” It’s quite interesting this video was produced by Microsoft, since (at first blush) it appears to be an Apple ad championing the predicted ubiquity of iOS-powered touch devices. It’s worthwhile to watch this video and look for:

  • Things people commonly do today, but may not do with the same ease or tools
  • Things people are NOT doing today, because the tools or capabilities simply aren’t there presently to do them.

Most of the scenes fit into the first category. Perhaps this is to make us (the viewers) more comfortable with the projected future. Lots of things are similar, but people are doing them with the iPhone 27 and the iPad 24.

'iPhone iPhone iPhone' photo (c) 2007, Braden Kowitz - license:

In terms of the educational vision this video portrays, it’s pretty mundane. The student is doing independent homework, basically CAI (computer aided instruction) on a flashy touch interface, but she’s not collaborating with peers or creating shared work. She works a division problem with a stylus and is rewarded by an animated bear who walks across the screen. It’s Math Blaster, sans weapons, version 666. She videoconferences with her mom to ask for help with a recipe, but that’s doable today with iPhone4 smartphones connected to wifi networks. There’s not anything here which is really revolutionary from an educational standpoint.

What is clear, and I think it accurate, is that devices and data are becoming and will become increasingly embedded in the ways we live our lives and interact with each other. Data does and will increasingly live “in the cloud” and be accessible on multiple devices. For educational leaders, a clear takeaway is the importance of our networks and data pipes. We need to build robust, flexible, smart, and fast networks capable of handling an exploding cascade of data which is already washing over “our shores.”

'Too many cables' photo (c) 2009, KIUI - license:

Got a “smart network” at your K-12 school yet? There’s no time like the present to start building. The data is here and more is on the way. So are the devices: big and small screens, and thinner than ever. Technology will continue to become an intrinsic part of who we are and what we do in the months ahead. Bet the farm on it. It’s happening and will continue.

It’s rather amazing to realize the iPad was “just” introduced in January 2010. Cloud-based, app-driven touch interfaces like the iPad are changing the ways many of us interact with information and other people. But there’s more…

These changes are just beginning. Hold on to your smartphones. (and hats…)

'Meeting Lewis and Wilbur in Adventureland' photo (c) 2011, Loren Javier - license:

The future has arrived. It’s our job to write the next chapter together.

Hat tip to Dr. Fred D. Rhodes for sharing this video.

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2 Responses to Envisioning a Cloud-based, Platform Independent Computing Future [VIDEO]

  1. Eric Lawson says:

    I agree with your analysis of the video. This reminded me of “A World of Glass” produced by Corning Ware at the start of the 2011 year in which everything was accomplished on flashy flat glass paneled devices, but nothing really revolutionary, at least from an educational perspective, was being done that we could not already do today with a “previous version” of the software/hardware. It is interesting to see how dependent these companies think that we will be on the technology that they provide. A good selling point in my mind! I wonder when we will see something transformed though, instead of just translated, in the futuristic vision of a technology company?

  2. Bob S. says:

    I have seen “A World of Glass” too and I have to agree with your comment that there´s nothing really revolutionary. I still think it´s pretty spot on, since most of the companies will probably concentrate on appearance, look and improved interaction (hence the touch screens and I´m not surprised they´re there even if the video is produced by Microsoft. They probably realize too that it was a winning feature and one that is going to stay, even become the norm). I think cloud computing will set in motion nothing short of a small revolution in the way we use technology, especially when it comes to businesses. So that´s where I would direct my attention. And I´d be also quite eager to know what GM has in mind for the future, since they also have a say in the production of this video. I´m pretty sure that has not so much to do with tablets.

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