Thursday, September 18, 2008 - Ehud Rattner
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Memories 'captured' by the Object’s camera are associated through gestures to a physical position within one of three layers, each representing a hierarchy of private and public domains altering the method of dispersal to the domestic system, friends, and family, accordingly. Although its operation sounds complex, this Youtube video demonstrates that using the Object is as easy as taking a regular photograph.
The device’s exchange mechanism converts the captured images into associations with domestic momentos, by tagging an artifact with a small RFID chip. The tagged objects are like any other objects, except for the fact that they relay information on their social characteristics such as ownership, privacy and preciousness. The physical information is interpreted into an intelligent virtual context, dealing with particular groups of images as the objects are dealt with in the home, perhaps displaying them publicly if the object is displayed on the mantle-piece.
The process of re-discovering memories is made by placing an object on the viewing surface – the product’s second accessory. According to Watson, the object viewer provides an intuitive and engaging way to share memories with others, using unorthodox ways of recollecting and remembering past events. The new device could be helpful when introducing products to people not familiar with the product’s context of usage.
TFOT has also covered the development of ‘Tai-Chi’, a “tangible acoustic interface,” which allows users to convert virtually any tangible object such as table tops, walls, and windows, into interactive surfaces, and the development of a new haptic interface that provides computer users with an accurate artificial sense of touch. Other related TFOT stories include COGAIN, a new technology that allows people with severe motor disabilities to play 3D computer games using only their eyes, the ‘intelligent stickies’, which are essentially Post-its that can be managed using a PC, and the Canvas, a new concept laptop designed by Kyle Cherry.
More information on Watson’s Object can be found on the designer’s website.