The Evolving Notification

Neil Cybart, writing for Above Avalon:

Even though we now associate notifications with pop-ups on our phones and tablets, the idea of a notification has been part of our lives for a very long time. A notification is simply something that gives us information to compute. A few everyday examples have included:

1885: A steam train whistle (and smoke) alerting people of an approaching train.

1935: A raised mailbox flag indicating to the mail carrier that a letter needs to be picked up.

1975: An air siren to warn of a nearby tornado.

1995: A vibration and chime on a pager alerting the user to an incoming call.

2005: A chime alerting the user that a new AOL IM has been received on the desktop computer.

2010: A blinking light on a Blackberry indicating new email.

2015: A popup on a smartphone indicating Sam Smith won a Grammy.

2016: A double tap on the wrist from Apple Watch informing us that our significant other is leaving the store.

Apple Watch will transform the way we receive information. I can imagine a day where I don’t look at my phone once, and instead, I’ll glance at my wrist periodically, as I get small bits of information throughout the day.


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