Category Archives: Internet of things

What If Smart Homes Were Designed For Seniors, Instead?

From www.fastcodesign.comYoung people are often the internet of things’ target market, but elders might make more sense, argues one designer.

The smart home of the future is designed for millennials: tech-savvy, hyper-social, Marie Kondo-reading youngsters who aspire to keep their lives clean and orderly forever. But life is messy, and technology is perhaps, ultimately, more life-improving to the old than to the young. What millennial, after all, needs a titanium hip, or a replacement heart?

So when Kevin Gaunt envisions the future of the smart home, he doesn’t think of it in terms of millennials, or their “picturesque Airbnb-style houses inhabited by attractive people who effortlessly interact with technology, dealing with all our chores and reading our deepest wishes before we are even aware of them.” Instead, he asks what the smart homes and conversational interfaces of the future can do for the elderly. And his answers seem a lot less empty than the thermostat-automating smart home bots of today.

 

From www.fastcodesign.com

 

Bots – Battling Boredom in Smart Homes from Kevin on Vimeo.

Advertisements

#Trashtag

From the 2016 Interaction awards – a great example of digital interaction in a real environment and experience design.

Project Description

Navigating the social media landscape often means spending time with our personal devices instead of with each other. We use our fingertips to transmit bits and bytes across the world more readily than we use our bodies to transmit social energy across a room. Who, at some point, hasn’t wondered if this rushing stream of ephemeral posts is leading us toward an island of social isolation rather than a true community of friends?

As part of Elevate Atlanta 2014, a pop-up gallery curated by local arts organizations, we created #Trashtag, a tangible interface for social messaging. Inspired by the weeklong exhibition’s “Social City” theme, we filled a dumpster with more than a hundred illuminated, magnetic blocks inscribed with words and emoji and beckoned the public into the installation with a phrase: “LET’S TALK.” Everyone was invited to participate by arranging the blocks to create messages of their own on the container’s walls. Strangers laughed together as they discovered hidden phrases in the piles of discarded words, and they disrupted each other’s work, playfully fighting over coveted terms and symbols. For one week in downtown Atlanta, social media became something new—a collective act undertaken together in physical space.

But #Trashtag did more than just collect these messages—it amplified them far beyond the confines of the dumpster. With the push of an oversized button, people could have the container tweet on their behalf. @TrashTagATL acted as a mouthpiece for the public’s ideas and hopes.

By the end of Elevate, #Trashtag had tweeted more than 200 posts. The messages were surprising and inspiring, at times critical, funny, and profound—a perfect reflection of the diversity of the participants. The public also littered the social media landscape with tagged Instagram photos, Facebook posts, retweets, and direct messages of their own, spreading awareness of the installation itself and the Elevate exhibition at large.

The dumpster ultimately became a symbol of the disposability of modern messaging, a place where sentiments could be tossed out and discarded as quickly as the pieces could be salvaged to create something new. But perhaps most importantly, #Trashtag transformed the dumpster into a creative space that anyone, regardless of age or background, could use to speak to others. Experimenting with what social media could look like in a physical place, we reimagined “posting” as a tangible task, a public activity, and a collective, evolving performance. In other words, we made social media truly social.

The cacophony project

An interesting open source project, The Cacophony Project will turn birdsong into data. By capturing the sound of our ecosystems, they’re going to build up a dataset that tracks exactly what the birds are telling us, over time and over the whole of New Zealand.

The Cacophonometer is a simple piece of hardware that lives in the bush, listening out for birds and automatically sending what it hears to the cloud. Every recording is tagged by GPS location and by time.

The plan is to spread Cacophonometers far and wide. And we listen, learn, and improve the Cacophony Project as we go.

Long term, these devices will also be modified to use sound to lure pests, identify, and eradicate them in an intelligent targeted manner.

There was a good interview on RNZ today: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201793257/the-cacophony-project-grant-ryan

For more: https://cacophony.org.nz