Magazine of the Future
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Nov 01 2004 Kelly Norton

In the wake of demo-saturated sponsor week, I decided, despite my lack of any screen charm, that I would post a link to my part in a series of videos the group shot in exploring some opportunities for the future of the magazine. In the span of about twenty-four hours, I scrambled to assemble a demo that would allow publicly posted paper products to serve as a gateway to digital content and participation. The bridge in this demo is facilitated on one side by RFID tags which are attached to the public posters and on the other side by a PDA with an onboard reader. Thumbnail of Magazine of the Future movie clip Somehow at the last minute, the scenario of torn pages was also introduced. I'm still trying to decide if there is anything interesting there. Certainly, there is some historical support for users tearing, redistributing, and remediating material from magazines, but at the time, I was a little too tired to give much thought to the scenario. I also tend to agree with Noah's assessment of RFID as not being ideal for these scenarios. A method of optical tagging, like that of barcode systems, would probably make more sense, especially if the tags could be read by the camera phones most of us are carrying in our pockets these days. Also, the Bluetooth network stack that is becoming more common on phones seems like an interesting mechanism for distributing content. For now, though, the future of the magazine is merely food for thought as we dive back into the Treehouse Studio and its underlying architecture. I have a lot of cleaning up of the SMPL code base that was muddied during the frantic kicking and flailing that makes up sponsor week.

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