The UK magazine Web Designer, a brilliant pub about web trends that perversely gives almost no content away on its web site, explains in Issue 136 how to move a web site outside a browser window — to take over the entire user’s computer screen. You’ve seen this at work at YouTube, if you hit “full screen mode” on the video.
This is much more than a design gimmick. If web sites can now go full-screen, and run programs, and store your data, then what is the point of desktop software? As this trend continues, companies that rely on PC-bound software (Microsoft) or PCs with complex innards (Dell, HP) are going to get hammered. All users will need is a screen, and everything else they want will be found online.
The impact on online advertising could be huge, since as content, utility, and storage move out of our homes or offices into the great wide web, it will become easier and cheaper for consumers to have multiple entry points into the internet. The screen in your car, the screen on your iPhone, the screen tablet in your briefcase, and the screen at the hotel lobby check in will all tie in to your online data systems. More points of entry, at a lower user cost, will create more time than ever before online. Facebook, for example, is really a new operating system that is housed online. You can run programs, communicate, store contacts, keep photos and files, all online — all you need is a screen to get in. Back in 1995, Facebook itself would have made a high-end computer.
All this, in turn, will continue the cannibalization of other media as consumers shift their routines to internet usage, vs. broadcast receptivity. To see full-screen web in action, check out papervision3d, which can turn your entire screen into a fish tank, or Sequence Post, a UK site showcasing high-end video work. More is coming.