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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Trend: Catering to ADD

While this has been going on for a while, I've been noticing more and more signs that we get bored easily if we have to focus on one thing and are preferring to do several things at the same time. Increasingly this is true across all areas of our lives and this need is being fed by content providers and manufacturers eager to cash in.

There's a big debate about whether multitasking harms productivity. Studies have shown that activity in your frontal lobes drops while multitasking. (The frontal lobes are considered our emotional control center and home to our personality. The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior.) However, another camp believes that we are evolving towards being able to multitask and that's a good thing. At any rate, there are signs everywhere you look:

Trek 2.0 a new show on G4TV, has old Star Trek shows embedded in a dashboard that gives stats and trivia simultaneously

BillG is famous for using 3 monitors, I only have two but some multimonitors are big features of both OSX and the new Windows Vista.

Interfaces are getting more cluttered, check out Firefox which lets you download addons to control iTunes, get weather reports, see incoming Gmail and a host of other things while you browse.

Cars are big places for split attention, BMW's iDrive lets you do possibly too much while driving.

Fortunately, there's always the heads up display...

And, of course passengers get to play too with built-in DVDs and gaming systems.

Kitchens aren't safe either. The big trend in kitchens are zones: work zones, play zones, chopping zones, washing zones and of course, it's all made possible by multifunction appliances like the internet fridge.

Even the outdoors isn't safe from multitasking. We've become accustomed to camera phones and itunes phones. Here's one that combines all 3.

Use it while you're skiing courtesy of the Burton iPod jacket that lets you control even with gloves on


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