How Many Screens Do You Use In Your Life? PSFK Asks The Purple List, Part One

How Many Screens Do You Use In Your Life? PSFK Asks The Purple List, Part One

In preparation of the release of the iPhone 5 next week, PSFK recently asked PurpleList members about the ideal number of screens they would like to look at on a daily basis.

Nestor Bailly, PSFK
  • 30 september 2011

In preparation of the release of the iPhone 5 next week, PSFK recently asked our global network of experts on The PurpleList how many screens they have in their lives, how many they ideally would have, and whether we’ve reached a point of device saturation. We asked them to consider the convergence of devices and emergence of screens for niche uses as well. Here are some of the best answers:

Mohammad Gaber: To the disappointment of my significant other…lots. 10 to be exact if you count TVs, reading devices & built-in car GPS systems. I love data and connecting so I am ok with the number. But it would be cool if my iPhone converged/docked into my iPad, and the iPad docked into my car.

Helena Bouchez: I have three right now: a Macbook laptop (with external monitor for desk work); an HTC EVO View 7″ tablet for when I roam, also to use in client meetings (unlike the iPad, it will fit in my purse) and, finally, an Internet enabled mobile phone. Note: I thought I’d spend less time interacting with the mobile once I got the tablet, but as it turns out I spend about the same time on it as before. Optimally, I’d like to have no more than two screens. I can easily see tablets replacing the traditional laptop.

Jon Henshaw: Since I can only do 50% of two things well at one time, I use one screen. If I hook my laptop up to a monitor, I close the laptop and make the monitor my only screen. Full screen apps in Lion, like iOS, makes focusing on my work even better.

Rod Rakic: I’ll need at least two screens for the foreseeable future. I need screens dedicated to consumption, but different screens dedicated to creation. Leaning back to consume media will always be different from leaning forward to create it. Today this translates to my iPad being fabulous for consumption, but my laptop continues to be my weapon of choice for creating work.

Patrick Mijnals: I think the big question is about how many screens do I use vs. how many do I own. In an ideal world I wouldn’t like to own more than currently (the usual suspects: mobile, tablet/ePaper/laptop/desktop, tv, car navigation…). The future of the screen will be about having access to any (or almost any) screen that I like. My personal data will be in the cloud and/or on one or many of my personal devices. Whenever needed it will be streamed / delivered to the screen that fits my current needs (think about teamwork, screen size, mobility, haptic feedback, 3D content,…) or will otherwise be used to personalize the screen content. More screens or screens for niche uses will have to be ecologically sustainable and offer a real benefit.

Rose Hoare: About six currently (a desktop at work, laptop and TV at home and a mobile, iPod and NavMan in between), and I’m comfortable with that many. I like separation between my work and home devices, and don’t mind consulting different screens for different purposes, if they’re well embedded in their context — I don’t want to have to futz around changing settings on my phone to get at my music or maps.

Brett Macfarlane: I just moved from Paris to London so have actually given this a lot of thought and this month starting from scratch doing the following:

For ‘communications’ I am diverging. Going from an iPhone to a Blackberry for work voice & email and a iPod Touch or HTC for personal email and data heavy apps. Essentially two mental environments – one work, one me.

For work have two: a laptop and a desktop screen. Latter is only used for low attention background streaming — rolling news stations, live events feeds (twitter, blogs, etc).

For entertainment will be doing a single TV that will play video (ie. anything with synced sounded and moving picture) powered by a computer for station subscription (ie. the stations I want though may not be ‘cable’) stations like BBC, iTV and France 24 that broadcast through their sites and some form of movie/TV through AppleTV.

Scott Mioduszewski: It depends on the context really. The short answer is 3 – laptop, phone, & iPod.

But when moving to different environments, like others have mentioned, add a TV to the list.

Moving around the house, add 1 for the alarm clock, 2 in the kitchen (microwave & toaster interfaces). And on and on.

So again, it depends on the context, screens for work, media consumption, utility, etc.

By the way, does an analog watch still count? It provides information through a piece of glass. Because I’ve tried to go with just the phone, but prefer the instant access a watch provides.

The PurpleList connects businesses with the world’s leading creative minds. It’s an easy-to-use marketplace in which organizations and individuals can ask questions to a broad range of skilled professionals.

Read all the responses here – and if you’re a PurpleList member, leave your comments there too.

PSFK readers can sign up for expert membership using this link:



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