Screens are tomorrow’s replacement for today’s book readers, TVs, laptops, desktop computers, phones, signs, indoor advertising, and many other items that show information and media. Screens will be thin, cheap, and connected to the Internet. They will form much of our device mesh, which also encompases headphones, ear buds, and all the appliances we’ll use in our homes and in our lives. All the hardware will be connected to the internet. By 2030, over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet and to phone networks.

Once it gets started, it will go quickly. A company that offers internet-connected wall-sized screens will start to replace cable TV service the same way that internet-routed calls have replaced traditional wireline calls. The services are all available and the price has already reached the crossover point. We’ll see internet TVs emerge by the end of 2010, certainly by 2011, and probably go mainstream by 2012.

The power of screens is that they have very little memory and no storage – they see the web, so you have the entire web to store and work with your information and media. You can log into any screen and make it yours instantly. A dumb screen that costs $50 will be every bit as capable as today’s iPhones, and much less vulnerable.