Education and Research


Kim H. Veltman

McLuhan Global Village Demo Room: A New Kind of Showcase

Unpublished Vision Statement, Toronto, McLuhan Program, 1992.

Annual technology exhibitions, fairs and shows no longer offer an adequate means of keeping informed. In the past, to keep in touch with the frontiers of graphics, one went to Siggraph once a year. To keep informed about computers one went to Cebit. Special exhibitions such as the G7 Exhibition on the Information Society in Brussels introduced a global dimension to this approach. Meanwhile, the Internet has introduced the potential of instant news about developments, with the drawbacks of being a) too slow, because it lacks bandwidth and b) unwieldy, because it lacks proper access methods.

Today all fields relating to high technology are advancing so rapidly that annual showcases are effectively outdated. We need a new kind of ongoing exhibition that offers a continuous showcase of new developments. This showcase will function locally, nationally and internationally. Locally, every major technology firm (e.g. Alias, IMAX, SGI, IBM), has already recognized the advertising potentials of using the Internet to show off their latest products. The showcase is different because it offers them access to ATM connectivity and explores the role of OC-12 (622 megabits) for this purpose. The showcase is non-profit. Vendors will provide samples of their latest hardware or software and only pay a fee to cover basic costs of the facility (rent, electricity, heating, insurance, receptionist). Self interest will ensure that each vendor keeps the display updated, thus informing everyone of the latest developments.

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