Alumnus, Tech Expert Ponders Future Made of Glass
Peter Bocko ’75 has a vision of a future where content currently housed on smartphones and tablet PCs is everywhere; where all the apps that keep us informed and connected can be summoned by touch on a bathroom mirror or from within a kitchen countertop.
It’s the kind of future suggested by the viral “A Day Made of Glass” video produced by Corning and supervised by Bocko.
The Corning Glass Technologies chief technology officer and Augustine Silviera Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series speaker walked a crowd of about 100 through some of the technology included in the video during an April 25 appearance in Snygg Hall.
Thinner, stronger, greener and more touch-sensitive glass makes the vision of this “ubiquitous connectivity” closer than ever, but there are still plenty of barriers, Bocko said.
Some of it would simply cost too much for the average consumer. That fancy countertop where you could scope the weather, watch a show and check email all while prepping an omelet would run about $250,000, Bocko estimated.
But an even larger problem is energy use. To power the kind of pervasive computation displayed in “A Day Made of Glass” would increase energy use several-fold. The technology would need to be much more sustainable than today.
“The technology is great, but at the same time we need to be responsible,” Bocko said.
Then there are the sociological implications of being plugged in all of the time. Would always being surrounded by vivid displays and constant content make minds lazier or hamper creativity? Bocko also posed the question of privacy: How connected do we really want to be?
Originally intended to be a promotional piece for Corning shareholders and employees, “A Day Made of Glass” captured the imagination of the general public and garnered more than 18 million views on YouTube.
“I was surprised to see the reaction to this,” said Bocko, technical advisor on both “A Day Made of Glass” and its sequel, “A Day Made of Glass 2.” It was a welcome reaction as it gave a wide audience to Bocko and Corning’s vision while also opening dialog with customers via social media.
The Silveira Distinguished Lecture Series is supported by a gift from Barbara and Thomas Weil ’66. Silveira, distinguished teaching professor emeritus and former chair of the chemistry department, retired in 2000 after nearly 40 years of teaching at Oswego.
⎯ Shane M. Liebler
Peter Bocko '75, the technical advisor behind Corning's viral "Day Made of Glass" and "Day Made of Glass 2" appeared in several classes as part of his campus visit April 25 and 26
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