When I was young kid slinging newspapers from his bike rain or shine about 40 years ago in order to earn money to save up to buy a dictionary – yes, a dictionary – I never dreamed that pocket size technology would exist that would permit anytime, anywhere access to the Oxford English Dictionary, much less the catalogs of the Library of Congress.
Accessing information remotely is truly remarkable, but what if technology existed that could simulate the actual look and feel of paper such that you would only need to buy one unfilled book and thereafter the myriad of pictures and text from any digital book could be streamed to it wirelessly on demand?
Here, we’re not talking IPAD or Kindle or Sony Reader or Netbooks or anything similar.
Rather, we’re talking about the next step in what could be the next stage on the trajectory of publication dissemination development – i.e., an actual manifestation of a book with pages that can be serendipitously flipped through while retaining the look and feel and intimacy with which books have always been associated.
Perhaps the wonders of nanotechnology hold the key to synthetic paper to which content can be wirelessly streamed, read and enjoyed, erased, and re-streamed continually with new content on demand. Perhaps every home will become a ‘paperless’ hub of the Library of Congress with nanotechnologically engineered books to which any content can be streamed.
Who knows? Well, one thing is for sure. If it happens during his lifetime, the person that was the boy on the bicycle won’t be surprised.