Windows as monitors! We’ve all seen films and programs about the future and we all know some of the common tropes that they tend to show off. A while ago it was flying cars, but generally we’ve given up on that idea.
Now instead it’s all impressive motion controlled PCs and Minority Report-style UIs. We expect to be able to wave our hands and see the news appear in front of us as a hologram, and to be able to type on the table and have that somehow picked up as though we were writing on a keyboard.
And one of the things we see time and time again is the idea that we’ll be able to use our windows and mirrors as interfaces for our PCs and to use a range of augmented reality apps.
So this article is intended as something of a thought experiment. Ignoring the question of whether or not that’s likely for a moment, I’m going to imagine that it will happen and that Windows will one day be covered in information.
- How might technology change the Windows in your home?
- How that will be useful?
- What kinds of realistic applications would there be for that?
High Tech Uses For Windows As Monitors
Windows As Monitors For The Weather
The first obvious use for windows as monitors would be to give you augmented reality information that could tell you about things like the weather. This could work either over an internet connection or by actually sensing the weather in the surrounding area, but from there you could then look out the window and know precisely what you were seeing and how the weather was expected to improve.
It could also tell you the temperature inside your home and suggest changing the temperature/what to wear accordingly. It could also warn you if you were likely to get condensation…
More Augmented Reality
This is really a bit of a gimmick though when you think that you can get most of that information from your phone or from, y’know, putting your hand out the window… But mixing real world imagery and digital information certainly has uses.
For instance it could also analyse what’s going on outside in order to alert you to points of potential interest. It could give you the identity of people coming to your door, or it could identify objects that you’re unsure of and give directions by pointing the way. Mirrors could also use augmented reality in some practical and some fun ways – telling you how your skin tone is changing over the days (and thus weather you need more sleep), allowing you to ‘try on’ different haircuts and more.
Games and Communication
Using windows as an interface could also make communicating and playing games with people much more intuitive. If someone is in another room or sat outside for instance, then you could write on the glass in order to communicate with them, or play a game of tic-tac-to.
Better yet though, if the windows could also act as smart cameras, then you could theoretically play these games with people across the world and even talk to them as though they were just on the other side of the glass.
As all your devices – including those that are a part of your home – will be able to communicate, having the ability to computer against the window will mean that you’re never lost for somewhere to jot things down. Want to note down an idea while you’re in the bath? Write it on the shower divider and save it – you can then open it later on on your PC at home.
Design Windows View
Of course there are also ways you can use your windows in order to make your rooms look more interesting, and the most obvious way to do this would be to simply swap your view across all your windows.
Tired of looking at your garden in the rain? Why not change the view to Niagara Falls on a beautiful day? There’s a way to boost your mood! Want to have a party? Why not change every piece of glass in your home to show flashing lights in time with the music?
This could be trippy, relaxing or serene depending on your mood and it would completely change the way we feel when relaxing in our homes.