The Five Dimensions of Digital Immortality: Presentation
The dimension of Presentation has two main components: media and content. While the current primary medium of the Internet is the computer, the lines between computer and television are rapidly blurring. To add to the confusion, both are moving away from being wired towards a wireless format.
Even today, many millions watch TV on their computer screens while other millions surf the Web on their TVs. As each medium acquires wireless capability, the distinctions begin to disappear. The visible object in all this is the flat panel LCD screen. In digital form, it can be a computer monitor or a high definition TV. And it can sit on any surface or hang on any wall.
Nearly invisible is a cable that delivers both television and Internet content. In between is hardware that combines TV tuner, computer, and signal generator. When the signals from the latter are wireless, the viewing screen can be anywhere. And while wall-sized LCD screens are still expensive, this capability is already here in the form of Internet capable cell phones.
In the future, viewing screens will be replaced by projections, which will eventually become three-dimensional holograms. In that future, the content of a digital persona will naturally evolve from passive to active, that is, interactive.
The degree of interaction is one way we now distinguish the content of TV from that of the Internet. TV is still one way. The Web is already two-way: you click on This and you get That. Yet, TV despite many false starts and decades of failed promises is moving towards becoming two-way. Its key phrase is "TV on demand." The only question is will it get there before it's absorbed by the Web.
At which point, the content of what are now two separate mediums becomes one. Since we're already seeing simulated actors in movies (and computer games a much larger industry), how long before they appear on television? In the newly combined medium of TV and Web? How long before a digital persona of a major celebrity becomes a major attraction on this combined medium? How long before an agent realizes the major celebrity can charge money for access to his or her digital persona?
Today, the presentation of that content extends from words on a screen to streaming audio and video. As the content expands from Megabytes to Gigabytes and then Terabytes, it will move towards a more realistic representation of a person our digital persona. At that time, people will undoubtedly be willing to pay for interaction. At least those who can afford the access will. And the rest? Well, think about all the people who now have black and white TVs or none at all.
Back to the Five Dimensions summary.