When the iPad was initially announced, you could sum up a lot of the reaction with that common internet expression ‘meh’. Though the Apple hype train was in full effect, many people didn’t see what all the fuss was about, and it literally was only a few minutes after the keynote that the phrase ‘it’s just a big iPod Touch’ to be bandied about.
But that started to change when people started to demo what magazines might look like on the iPad. Most prominent was the demo from tech taste-makers WIRED, whose vision of what an iPad magazine might look like was slick and promising. It featured an easy ‘swipe to turn the page’ mechanism and an interface that allowed for easy navigation. Suddenly people started to get excited, and with good reason too.
At the same time, a lot of future-minded people were left with a bit of a sour taste in their mouths. After all, if the iPad and other tablet devices were supposed to deliver a whole new world of content, why did these electronic magazines basically look like souped-up versions of their print counterparts?
Ideally, shouldn’t we be producing new forms of content, rather than just trying to digitally replicate what we already have? What’s the point of all this new tech if we’re just going to repeat the past?
But some hope comes in the form of the concepts presented here by ViV Magazine. Rather than trying to recreate a paper magazine in digital terms, what ViV have done is create a hybrid of paper, video and digital to produce an interactive form that actually feels like it belongs in the future. Take a look at that video and get a glimpse of what truly creative minds can do with tablets like Apple’s forthcoming device.
What concepts like this suggest is that our digital future should actually create new ways of thinking about form and content. How many of us have looked at a magazine and dreamed of the day that pictures would become videos? Or looked at videos and thought of interacting with them in ways that technology just didn’t allow for at the time? The concept presented by ViV is exciting and new and different, and presents a world in which we’ll interact with ideas and information in a way we haven’t before.
Regardless of what you think about the arrival of the iPad, that is a reason to look forward to a tablet future.