A few weeks ago, I was browsing the internet, looking for lists of viral videos, and I was surprised to find A Day Made of Glass, by Corning, ranked highly among the most popular YouTube videos from this calendar year. I admit that I was a bit late in discovering the video– it was posted in February, after all– but I remember feeling absolutely blown away by  Corning’s vision of a home completely covered in functional, digital screens.

It’s funny, because the type of complete digital functionality represented in the Corning video has always been one of my secret dreams. Years and years of dragging a laptop around campus have made me very enthusiastic for a time when the entire contents of my home PC will be accessible with just a click of a button, no extra hardware required. I imagine that one day, I will have access to a device which projects a holographic computer screen right in front of me– now that would be amazing.

I was reminded of that video again today as I sat drinking my afternoon coffee, fiddling idly with the HP TouchPad I (finally!) received by delivery this morning. In so many ways, a device like the TouchPad represents the beginning of that dream– of having a digital touch-screen at my fingertips. I’ll admit it– I wasn’t quite sold on tablet devices when they first appeared on the market. It also took me light years to finally purchase a smart phone, although in my defense, I was waiting for my current phone contract to expire.

Sci-fi come to life: This i.tech device projects a holographic keyboard.

I’ve since realized that part of my reluctance to explore new technologies is due to the fact that these devices never quite seem to encompass the type of functionality which I am looking for. Doing some research on the web, however, has led me to believe that my some of my digital dreams are already n the road to realization. The i.tech virtual keyboard (pictured above), which is compatible with a variety of digital devices via Bluetooth, projects a functional holographic keyboard onto flat surfaces. I was also unaware that the release of the first mobile computer with no actual keyboard, akin to today’s tablets, dates back to 2006. The Samsung Q1 has been labelled a bona fide dud, but is still significant for being one of the earliest attempts to bring touchscreen PCs right to our fingertips.

While examples like the Corning video depict digital functionality as a far and flung-off dream, it’s important to stop and realize that there are elements of that dream right in front of us. Sometimes, we’re so worried about the next ‘big thing’ in technology– which company will be the first to achieve certain milestones in digital display, for example– that we don’t actually realize how far we’ve come in technological advancement. Companies are already paving the way for a future where total digital connectivity and more ‘green’ technologies are going to be the norm. And that’s definitely the type of  future I want to be a part of.

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