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:



How Indiegogo Is Becoming An Adult Product Destination

Home september 23, 2016

Watch This Fire Pit Dance Along To Your Favorite Song

Music City Fire is a system that is designed to flicker in time to ambient music

Automotive september 23, 2016

Slick GPS Navigator Gives Directions To Moped Riders

This small, round device attaches to a sideview mirror to display maps for safer traveling


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Home september 23, 2016

A Clock That Beautifully Manages Your Information Overload

The wall-mounted timekeeper is made to help people maintain focus and stay up to date with their appointments

Arts & Culture september 23, 2016

Performance Piece Blends Dancers Into Folds Of Light

The work provides commentary on the increasing connection between programmed and analog dimensions

Design & Architecture september 23, 2016

Design Firm Adapts Childhood Homes For Unemployed Young Adults

The studio has unveiled three prototypes of transformed living spaces for people forced to move back in with their families

Health september 23, 2016

These Chocolate Squares Claim To Reverse The Aging Process

A group of researchers from Cambridge University have developed a candy bar that promises to give you a youthful glow

Cities september 23, 2016

Food-Producing Architecture Competition Seeks To Better Feed Cities

A design challenge in Copenhagen highlights the need and beauty of urban farming


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Health september 23, 2016

Wearable Monitors Sun Exposure To Prevent Sunburn

The clip monitors UV rays to make sure you're not receiving too much sunlight

Culture september 23, 2016

This Exhibition’s Crowning Jewel Is An 18k Gold-Plated Toilet

The piece, titled 'America,' is meant to raise questions about the country's wealth inequality

Culture september 23, 2016

Match Up With Dates On Tinder Based On Your Music Preferences

A new partnership with Spotify lets people pair up based on shared tastes in artists

Entertainment september 23, 2016

Capture, Cut Up, And Configure Your World In 360 Degrees

To meet a booming 360 and VR video-capturing industry, a multimedia software company bolstered its media editing suite for 360-video creation


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Advertising september 23, 2016

Buy Movie Tickets Directly From Your Facebook Profile

The new feature is part of a campaign from Fandango to further imbed social media into the ticket vendor's digital presence

Asia september 23, 2016

Co-Working Space Brings The Calming Atmosphere Of Nature Indoors

An architectural firm in China has designed a new type of shared office that prioritizes the natural environment

Retail september 23, 2016

Live Beacon Simplifies Cloud Sharing For Businesses

The battery-powered device and smartphone app allow anyone to send location-specific content without the hassle of code or hardware

No search results found.