Over the last decade, device screens haven’t just become a common part of our lives – at this point, they’re practically inescapable. First, during the 90s, you had desktop computers in nearly every home and then, laptops. In 2007, the iPhone was introduced to the world. Flash forward to today and, according to Pew Research, 77% of people now own a smartphone of some kind. Tablets, HDTV sets, Virtual and augmented reality. Even our appliances have digital screens built into them. The list goes on and on.
But in our race to get to the flattest, highest definition, most immersive screens… one curious trend has actually revealed itself. That is to say, we’re closer than one might think to a future so technologically connected that we no longer need screens of any kind. We’ve reached “Peak Screen”.
Moving Beyond the World of the Screen
According to a piece that originally ran in the New York Times, it’s fair to say that technology has now “captured” most of our waking moments. Not only does the average person spend about 11 hours a day looking at a screen of some kind, but that number actually breaks down to between three and four hours looking at a smartphone in particular.
But these types of devices were always supposed to make our lives easier, and at this point, it’s clear that you can only do so much when relying on our eyes alone. For those who have been paying attention over the last two years, you may have noticed that certain segments of technology seem to be moving in the decidedly opposite direction.
If you want to order something from Amazon on your Alexa device, you no longer have to interact with a screen of any kind. You can just speak your order out loud and the device will take care of everything using the voice assistant. We now have headphones, smartwatches and other Bluetooth-powered devices that rely minimally on screens, if they even do so at all. A lot of wearable devices collect and share as much personal data as ever, but they do so “behind the scenes”. Even our entertainment is becoming less screen based – think audiobooks and podcasts.
This new era brings with it a wide range of different benefits that are worth dissecting. For starters, screens are not only immersive but they’re naturally addictive – figuring out a way to complete all of the same tasks without a screen would naturally help curb that issue to a certain extent.
Likewise, voice assistants, in particular, are actually more conducive to the way the human brain operates in the first place. When you’re interacting with a screen, you have to think like a computer. When you’re controlling your technology with your voice, it’s much more natural and fluid – like you’re having a conversation with a friend, rather than a robotic assistant.
Why the Screenless Future Matters
This creates a future that is every bit as reliant on technology, but far less addictive and more conducive to multitasking at the exact same time. According to one recent study from the University of Texas, just having a smartphone within your field of vision can significantly reduce your ability to focus. A screenless future would definitely help address this problem head-on.
If you could live in a society where you were just as connected as you ever were, and were just as productive on the go, but you could instantly give up all the noise, distractions and addictions, would you do it?
LiveTribe: Capitalising on the Screenless Future, Together
A screenless future isn’t going to happen overnight – after all, a new iPhone is still going to be introduced this year and we’ll all still salivate over how large the screen is and how exciting the new techy novelties are. However, it’s clear that we’re moving in a screenless direction and it may very well be the silver bullet we’ve been looking for in terms of enjoying all of the benefits of modern technology without many of the downsides.
So are screens on the way out? Have your say in our latest forum