A Fun Glimpse into the Future of Digital Messaging

David Weiss
Dec. 5, 2011 by David Weiss

I just came across one of Microsoft’s many visions of the future. Being a gadget guy at heart and a lover of cool interfaces that make things easy, I thought this was a pretty compelling vision. (Though I did wonder why people of the future often look so spacey!)

But notice how much of this vision depends on reliable, transactional messaging that can bridge protocols, devices and networks, to zip from virtually anywhere to virtually anywhere, any time. See how messaging interfaces are built into just about every object that we interact with, like car windows (:37) kitchen walls (:30) and collaborative documents (3:54), not just discrete communication devices.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the future didn’t look a little like this. Already communication devices are proliferating, slimming down and trying not to break our stride as we go about our busy days.

But what type of infrastructure are we going to need in between all of these devices – interactive furniture, walls and appliances – allowing them all to seamlessly interoperate, in real time?


  • So in the future, everyone has like 10 different iPads of all different sizes. Sounds expensive 😛

  • I’m just wondering how the 3D hologram things hovering over the table is going to work.

  • This is the latest “vision extension” of the “MIcrosoft Home” that they have been imagining for years. About 10 years ago, during the Universal Plug and Play development (WinXP), I went to their “connected home” installation. Its focus then was on devices that would connect and communicate, such as a microwave that had a built-in scanner. The scanner could read the bar-code on a frozen dinner, for instance, and instantly program the time and power needed for the dinner/microwave power combination.

    This is a much slicker version of that, and involves less emphasis on “the refrigerator knows you are out of milk and orders it for you” device interactions, and more on how people will connect and interact.

    Both require a messaging infrastructure to inter-operate, as you say, but now the focus is on the social aspects. An interesting change in direction for them.

  • Yes, Dawn-Marie, it’s interesting to see how companies like Microsoft imagine the future. Without making any specific promises or product announcements, these visions paint intriguing use cases that “test the waters” for certain features, certain benefits. And now, yes, the future seems to be all about the social aspects. If you come across any other visions that you find compelling, please share them!

  • […] I blogged about one of Microsoft’s visions for the future, a vision in which people sent messages not […]

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