PSFK talks with the President of NewDealDesign about his digital device, Plair, that is helping to change the essence of multiscreen entertainment.
PSFK caught up with Gadi Amit — the president of NewDealDesign LLC, who is passionate about creating design that is both socially responsible and generates real world success — following his recent presentation at PSFK CONFERENCE SAN FRANCISCO about the release of Plair, a handheld, portable device used to stream media from a mobile phone, tablet or computer wirelessly to your big screen. Gadi previewed the device during his talk in San Francisco, giving us a chance to follow up with him on the implications of consumers interaction with media through multiple simultaneously.
What does consuming content through multiple channels simultaneously signify?
We’re becoming a fully connected society, with people jumping around texting, and emailing, and being on social websites or blogs, and yet want to see a movie at the same time. That’s a reality. I don’t know how sustainable it is. I can see some hints of regression moving away from this constantly-on flow of events, whether it’s on your Facebook or your email at work. So there is a level of commotion right now. What happens is that we develop very clear behavior patterns that are associated with certain devices. For instance, a TV or large screen display is much more of a lean back, relax and see a movie, watch a show and so on. A tablet is very much akin to a book or to a magazine: you flick through it, you get some content, and can read it and you can immerse yourself with it, but it’s less of a video content device.
The notebook computer or any computer is becoming very much a creative arena. It’s mostly associated with work or studying, but people use it to create stuff. You don’t create on tablets. You don’t create on a TV.
The phone is becoming more of a navigation and user interface device. You do create short messages or short emails, but primarily you basically navigate through a bunch of events coming and going from your surroundings.
How do these devices and behaviors intersect?
We are establishing a system of three main screens. The larger screen is a sit back and relax. There is the notebook screen which is the lean forward, create something. The tablet is going to be somewhere in between. The phone is the mobile user interface device so to speak.
Now, the interesting thing is people want to be able to hop between these instantly. So, “I saw something nice on the Flipbook and I want to watch this video. I have a YouTube video I want to watch about surfing or driving racecars, and now suddenly I don’t want the 15 inch screen.” That hop is going to become very common.
Airplay and other technologies are trying to hone that concept, but it’s not there. What people want is this hop. That’s something that Plair is honing and trying to really provide in the most seamless way. That is also going to be a vector of progress that we’ll see in the next 5, 10 years.
Why is mobility so important?
Mobility is key. We are living in an era where we have two massive technologies that allow us to achieve mobility. The first is the Internet as a communication platform, that is everywhere. The other one is the mobile device. The combination of the mobile, as a device and the Internet as a platform is creating a completely new state of mind where you are mobile and yet expected to be connected to your home virtually and get all the benefits you are used to having in your place of residence in terms of entertainment.
To address this behavior, you need a whole class of different solutions. Plair is taking a bold step towards allowing you to go seamless with your content. Now, with something like Plair, you can basically be anywhere and still be connected to your media.
What is the driver behind Plair seamlessly bridging multiple consumer platforms?
Plair allows consumers to move from platform to platform and still keep their content intact.
What positions Plair uniquely in the marketplace?
Its portability. Plairs design allows you to take it wherever you go and immediately, within seconds, plug it to a display and stream content through your phone. That seamlessness is a complete game changer, in my mind.
How do you envision people interacting with mobile devices and multiple screens in five year’s time?
I think what’s quite apparent is that your digital persona or your true personal computer is your mobile phone. I said two things, “personal computer,” and then, “digital persona.” The real issue here is that currently we think of the mobile phone in terms of computing less than actually a point of access, and identification device.
I think five years from now, there’s going to be complete blend of these two terminologies. On one end, the phone will be doing computing and will provide user interface. At the same time, it will be the access in terms of authentication to the cloud. So to some degree if you want cloud services, you must have excellent identification devices, which are the mobile phones.
This is where we’re going five years from now. It’s kind of this duality of very strong backend cloud services with a very strong, personal endpoint, and a mobile phone that is both a computing and a user interface device as well as an identification and authentication device.