I am tech-junkie. One of the things I get the most creative satisfaction from is leveraging technology for ministry. I especially thrive on forcing the most utility from the least expensive options (as “free” as possible)! Because of this fascination I have always been somewhat of a “futurist” – not in a prophetic way, but with a playable wonder at what things could be like. As a church planter trying to figure out how to get Jesus Christ’s message to the generations just coming into age, I feel like I have to have my ear to the ground concerning technology.

At Thrive Church we are currently squeezing the turnips trying to develop an internet campus as “free” as possible. it is challenging but awesome when things get clicking. One of my “big issues” with trying to be frugal is that we are, to a large degree, restrained on our ability to provide mobile access. I firmly believe that mobile access is vital but we just can’t swing the finances to make that happen. My desire to provide mobile access is fueled, in large part, to what I see as the next “movement” in technology – a movement that is already underway. My iPhone and my iPad are ever-present reminders that we need to continue to push towards mobile access.

I’ve been following D8, catching the video interviews with technology leaders. Jon, over at ChurchDrop, posted about a video that I hadn’t yet seen featuring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s view on trends in personal computing. The following is a comment I made about the video (editing some).

He (Steve Ballmer) is right. Of course, he can’t help but to market Windows as he makes a good projection. Ignore the Windows specific rhetoric, and what we are left with are two ideas:

1 – There will always be a need for a more generalized (more powerful / capable) appliance, a personal computing device – which will certainly change form factor as time and technology progress.

2 – Even so, people are still going to want, increasingly so, a smaller, pocket-sized device, and they are going to expect more and more from that device as time and technology progress.

I thought it telling that he was willing (correctly so) to “categorize” the iPad as a personal computing device, but he was also right when he joked about the level of productivity currently possible on such a device.

I love my iPad – it is an AMAZING device for *consuming* media (images, audio, video *and* documents). But, I am fighting a frustrating battle forcing it to produce / create that media. You can produce / create, but it is not as easy as using a device with more precise and controllable input methods.

Still, I consider the iPad the parent of a new stage in “pc” evolution. There is still a lot of room for improvement as it matures – at which point the “input” issues will be overcome and the form factor will finally be great at production / creation.

Personally, I believe that the next evolution will obscure the OS to a point where it will be invisible to the user and not at all a factor in using the device. “Applications” as we know them won’t really exist. The device (which you probably won’t ever “see”) will borrow the tools needed to “create” from a global knowledge base, fashioning your creation behind the scenes in response to your creative instruction, a la the Iron Man movies’ Jarvis.

Of course, I can’t tell the future, so take this as an amateur’s opinion. But, it sure is fun thinking about it.

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