Remember back to the days before CDs? (It's okay if you don't.) Well, I grew up listening to records, which were a truly Analog format. People have told me that tapes are analog as well, but that's a little more of a stretch for me. But that's beside the point.
We are now in a very Digital age. I make media in an almost completely digital workflow. Computers allow us to do some absolutely incredible things, but things are changing.
I've used a keyboard almost my entire life. Same with a mouse. Those are very digital type inputs: Buttons, tracking balls, and clickers. But for over a year now I've been using one of these babies:
My Wacom tablet.
I absolutely love "interfacing" with my computer via a pen. It is amazing. It is also, in a way, incredibly analog. When I put my pen in the lower right of the tablet, the cursor is in the lower right of the screen. My pointer motion is now completely analogous to the motion of my pen.
And this isn't the only place where we are shifting to a more and more synthetic analog model for our digital age. The Nintendo Wii (not to forget the DS as well) also operates on a analog level completely different from the buttons and toggles of other gaming systems (including Nintendo's own consoles of the past).
A couple "old school" (and rather digital) Nintendo controllers.
What does this mean for the media of the future?
I really have no idea. I'm really bad at predicting the future. However, I wouldn't be surprised if we become more and more tactile in our media interaction over the new few years. The iPhone has already shown how popular digital-analog systems can be. Who knows, maybe the next big thing after HD will be D-A: The system of faking an analog experience in a digital world.
Your Media Production Mentor