Skip to content

Narrowing gap – face-to-face and online

With location-aware software and mobile devices…and the immediacy of Twitter/Facebook, the gap between physical and virtual is shrinking. As Tony Karrer notes, in addressing online/face-to-face conferences: “What’s interesting here is that it used to be that you could count on your in-person audience to be singletasking (is that a word?) and paying attention. Now, they are going to be multitasking just like your online audience.” Perhaps I spend too much time online, but I would like to do with the physical world (and conversations) what I do online: tag, sort, annotate, organize, archive (the internet of things?). Overlaying a data layer on the physical world – such as walking through a historical district and being able to see buildings on your mobile device as they looked 100 years ago – contributes to physical/virtual blurring. I’ll take it a step further: the biggest challenge facing technologists today is to provide a seamless method of integrating our online selves and our physical selves. I’d argue the two separate selves shouldn’t even exist – they will converge into one entity.


  1. Much of the attraction of the iPhone and Android mobile phones lies exactly in their ability to merge our virtual (online) and physical selves. The Motorola CLIQ, with its MotoBlur ( ) is a good example of this. No doubt this trend is set to continue.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  2. Thanks George. This one really made me think. In fact it made my head hurt. I went on a bit long so here’s the link


    Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 9:38 am | Permalink
  3. George, I got a response to my reaction to your post with the following links in it:

    I really think a lot of people are going to end up under buses…

    Friday, October 2, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink
  4. Hi George,

    Have you already seen Augmented Reality – The Future of Education?

    Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink