Thursday, January 31, 2008

I love TED

Two years ago I saw video that gave me first goose pimples about technology I've had in years (and that's includes a period where I've been exposed to some pretty amazing innovation from IBM and Dell).
It was Jeff Han demonstrating the high-resolution multi-touch computer interface that's since become known as Microsoft Surface at an event called TED (Technology Entertainment Design). Bill Gates later did virtually the same demo (at TechEd I think).
(It caught my interest because the keyboard is my least preferred way to interact with technology. I appreciate it was probably the best early computer engineers could come up with at the time but live for the day when we can consign it to history.)
I knew nothing of TED at the time (which in itself was surprising to me since I read a lot about technology) but I've been going back to this amazing Web-site regularly ever since.
TED's tagline is 'inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers' and for once on the Internet it's actually true. Just take a look at these past presentations on the theme What's New in Tech.
More recently the TED blog featured a short presentation from Hollywood 'it' producer JJ Abrams on the use of mystery in film making (as it turns out we both have the same favourite scene in Jaws) and tonight I this great demo on Microsoft's Seadragon technology and the 'zoom interface'.
It's actually surprising how little media coverage TED attracts, particularly when you consider the quality of presenters and the clever ideas being showcased, and especially in comparison to the attention given to the relatively trivial news coming out of CES and Macworld etc.