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The future in texture...

I just read this article in the Nytimes. Steve Jobs promoted "skeuomorphic designs," use of textures on mobile devices, but the company may be removing these textures from their designs — “Clean edges, flat surfaces will likely replace the textures." While I am in favor of flat surfaces and a good use of typography, I wonder if this aesthetic appeals to mainstream users or just designers?

"He [Steve Jobs] did the same with many other virtual doodads that mimic the appearance and behavior of real-world things, like wooden shelves for organizing newspapers and the page-flipping motion of a book, according to people who worked with him but declined to be named to avoid Apple’s ire."

Anyone in the 3D field will know how important texture is. Watch "Cloud Atlas" (by Lana and Andy Wachowski, directors of "The Matrix" series). The film creates a scene based in the science fiction city of Neo-Seoul, where the character Hae-Joo Chang saves Sonmi-451 and takes her to his drab gray safe haven. He uses a remote to transform the room into a luxury apartment with a view (e.g. flipping the tiles of the gray floor to red carpet, and transforming the walls into a beautiful skyline window view or cherry blossom wall paper).

Image Credit: Animation World Network

Here is a clip of the effects produced (but they don't show that room):

I really hope that Apple can keep Steve Jobs' vision. The company already changed the screen size of the iphone5 despite Steve Jobs' wish, which changes the aspect ratio, and will make it harder to develop apps. I went to a presentation late last year with product managers from Gilt, Hearst, and Buzz Feed Media. They repeated that because there was one aspect ratio, it was easy to develop and test apps on iOS versus Android (frameworks and multiple devices fragment screen size resolutions).

Now the news is that iPad is getting an early update. Interesting changes afoot...


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