Jordan Staniscia describes an interesting link between current developments in 3D printing and “2D media” that we’ve all been using for many years. His concept is “custom personal data”, data that can be mixed, manipulated and of course chosen by you.
In the increasingly distant past, such choices were made by media execs in big companies during the broadcast era. But more recently we’ve all been given much more choice in what we can view and when we can view it.
He’s calling “Media” the first of three phases of custom personal data. The second is “Solid objects”. This is a stage we’d be entering today, thanks to the development of inexpensive personal 3D printers that permit anyone to print basic, simple solid objects of their choice.
The third phase would be “Complex machinery”, in which working machines rather than simple, monolithic solid objects could be routinely created. Obviously, the third phase will take a while to emerge. Maybe quite a while.
We think this is an interesting and probably reasonable way to look at the long-term situation. We are all simply manipulating data and sometimes mistake their physical manifestation as “it”. The data ultimately matters most. Remember, “CDs” disappeared when replaced with portable digital files that have no relationship to a particular physical form.
Objects will be the same.