"Every surface will be a computer." So spake Bill Gates at the annual CEO Summit, sounding much like himself a few decades ago when he promised a computer on every desk. Since then we've collectively turned our laps and our pockets into computing centers as well. So why not walls and tables, like the new TouchWall unveiled today? While Gates defined "every surface" as being in homes and offices, we here at Valleywag couldn't drag our minds out of the gutter long enough to think of the top 5 unexpected places where surface computing just might take hold.
- Public bathrooms: Waiting in line for the glory hole? Just sign a fake name on the wall at the local cruising bathroom and it can direct you to the stall where George Michael is servicing all comers. Bonus points if it provides information on sexually transmitted diseases while you wait.
- Drug dens: Blowing rails off a mirrored coffee table is so 1980. Have the computer track the size of your dose and instantly send a text to your dealer or recommend the number of Xanax to take after a wild night blowing through your latest round of venture capital.
- Padded cells: Committed to a mental health facility, but don't want to give up your daily rounds of editing Wikipedia? Now you won't have to. Plus your activity can be monitored to gauge just how manic or depressed you are at the moment, with your forced meds meted out to match.
- Homeless shelters: What better way to cross the digital divide than to provide cloud computing to the increasing number of Americans living under the open sky? Cities could get rid of all those expensive social workers and replace them with Clippy.
- Voting booths: If you think Diebold is helping candidates steal elections now, just wait until you'll be allowed to vote by photo instead of having to read the names of candidates. It'll be kind of like ordering from the menu at Denny's: the democratic process as Grand Slam breakfast.