I came across this post on Binary Bonsai earlier today, mainly focussing on Microsoft Office’s new Vision video (see below). Michael’s response is fairly gentle, nudging MS and noting how far from reality the future visioning tends to be
The latest is the Productivity Future Vision from the Office division, which like all their videos, looks great (and probably would interact horrible in a real-world scenario):
I suspect these videos are made not only by outside agencies (if you know different, let me know), but entirely by graphic designers who dream about interaction design, but never had to realize their ideas in the real world.
I’m feeling much less generous when looking at this finely crafted, shiny vision piece. It’s clear that MS has an eye to the future potential of technologies like touch, tablets and the ‘big data’, but it’s so far removed from the reality of what they’re actually producing. Frank mentioned to me the other day something that’s worth noting here — Apple doesn’t create concept videos for future products. They don’t make ambitious future vision style images of the future — they just make great products that people can use today. The magic of it is that these products push us a great deal towards a different future, but they don’t bother trying to impress us with their vision, rather they do everything possible to impress us with what their vision has lead them to create.
It’s a world apart, the two approaches. Shut up and ship, Microsoft. If this is the future, create it. We’ll love you for it, but not if you never bother following through with this vision.
On another note, I have to say the similarities between this vision and the amazing work BERG London have been producing in the last few years is striking. Here’s a few BERG visioning pieces that have, in my view, been quite influential in shaping the future of products and interaction. Well done, lads.