Check out the video below or view it on flickr. It’s from CES in Las Vegas. A guy from Samsung is showing off a window display that turns a glass window into a computer display. With the touch of a finger you can flip the “blinds” open and shut, change the color of the blinds, pull up marketing reports, play video and so on. It’s pretty amazing stuff, and may be related to a breakthrough that Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology announced last October which involves “single crystalline Gallium Nitride on amorphous glass substrates.” Samsung has been tinkering with this idea for a while and showed off something sort of similar back in 2008 and showed more transparent display stuff in November 2010.
Now — view the video on flickr, and then look down in the comments. Do you know what Apple nuts are bitching about? The weather widget in the Samsung window display bears a striking resemblance to the weather widget on a Mac. “Shameless!” someone huffs and puffs. The video got picked up on Twitter by Radar Design, and then picked up by John Gruber on Daring Fireball under the headline, “Another Amazing Samsung Design Coincidence.”
I’m starting to wonder if Gruber is just trying to wind people up. Because, um, it’s a weather widget, and they all kind of look like this, and while I’m sure that Apple’s little weather widget is just the most amazingly perfect weather widget out there, and no doubt Jony Ive and his team spent months and months trying to decide on just the right shade of blue for the background of the widget and agonizing over which typeface would be the ideal one for a weather widget — is this what we’ve sunk to? Seriously? What has to happen to someone’s brain that they can look at a video of a magical transparent touch screen window display and all they notice is the weather widget?
This is like someone showing off a fully functioning time machine and having Gruber sniff that, well, that start button looks an awful lot like the power button an an iMac.