Intimate Computing

Personal computing was a misnomer; the devices of that generation were never personal. Yet, this new computing age finally allows for our devices to not only be personal, but intimate.

Through a combination of software, hardware and industrial design, we are using products and services that have the potential to replace cherished items. The photo album, the diary, the scrap book can now all live digitally.

With the iPad, we finally have a device that we can hold in a similar way to a photo album. With Facebook, we finally have a digital service that can store our life stories just like a diary or a scrap book.

The new Timeline feature on Facebook will allow us to document our lives; highlighting the key stories that occur. Graduation, marriage, births easily recorded for future viewing. Imagine sitting down with your grandchildren and being able to scroll through a single page of your live with them, showing them your days at college or the place you met their grandmother.

Ignore all the media attention about the possible conflicts between Apple and Facebook; the two companies have the same views when it comes to technology. They advertise their products by focusing on the individual and not on the technology.

Technology alone is not enough

Steve Jobs - Apple Chairman

That quote may have been from Steve Jobs, but it could have easily come from Mark Zuckerberg or Chris Cox. I can’t wait to see how the Timeline develops over time.

We have reached a new age of computing. Forget this Post-PC mantra; we are now living in the era of intimate computing.

I am unsure as to why I have used Gowalla and Foursquare in the past. On reflection, it just seemed a waste; I wasn’t sharing where I was with my close friends, just those who I know online.

People may be concerned about the privacy issues concerning Facebook Places. And with Facebook’s poor handling of privacy issues in the past I can’t blame them. But if I look at the bigger picture, and imagine the potential of what Places can offer, those issues just seem to disappear.

The potential of this feature wont be realised within the first couple of years. But what Places offer is a way to relive your life, relive the moments you will treasure for a lifetime. It will provide easy access to the friends that you shared that moment with, along with the photographs, the videos, the notes which were created at that time.

The ideas expressed in this video will probably become true. It would be great to see what friends have visited a place before me, and see what they have left there for me to discover.

What do you guys think of Facebook Places?!