Publishers made 2009 the year of the concept newspaper and magazine. Time Inc. teamed up with a design company, the Wonder Factory, to create a fun concept video of the Sports Illustrated of the future. Then there was another concept video from the Bonnier Group, a Swedish media company, which went a step further and moved the words and images off a screen and onto a table, allowing you to flick, drag and scroll in thin air.
There is, however, one problem with all of these wonderful and creative mock-ups: After you watch the videos and imagine what a device like this might offer, you are left with nothing more than a memory of a fancy concept. Yes, they are beautifully presented, but they are mostly pie-in-the-sky ideas. Until someone actually creates the hardware to run these experiences, concepts like that in the Bonnier Group video are about as realistic as those in a video about time travel or flying cars.
It's important to understand how difficult these devices will be to produce, especially if done right.