Bryan and I had a great conversation yesterday about the battle between optimizing applications for today’s processing power versus developing for the future. This link (via Lockergnome) illustrates how seemingly impractical one gigapixel images–which are beyond today’s Photoshop capabilities because of their immense size–offer amazing photographic clarity.
Similar issues apply to representing ink in Tablet PCs, processing color video feeds from multiple cameras in real time, archiving every screen displayed on your desktop, and on and on. Processing power and practical representations of the data will yield amazing applications for tomorrow. This is what excites me as a developer.