I can never remember if we are supposed to live each day as it were our last, or if it’s the first day of the rest of our lives. It’s hard to tell sometimes.
We’re surrounded by objects and systems that are too big or too opaque to understand — everything from the global banking system, to the Edgerank algorithm Facebook uses to order your newsfeed [...] And the effect of this alienation is felt subtly: I believe it means we can never build a good mental model of the technologies we use. We’re constantly having our expectations slightly violated, we feel a little itchy, like we don’t fit comfortably in our own world.
[U]topia is deeply obvious, leaving aside the fact it won’t happen. We’re not interested in this idea of the invisible technology in a modernist sense. Tech won’t be visible but only if it’s embedded into the culture that it exists within. By foregrounding the culture, you background the technology. It’s the difference between grinding your way through menus on an old Nokia, trying to do something very simple, and inhabiting the bright bouncy bubbly universe of iOS. The technology is there, of course, but it’s effectively invisible as the culture is foregrounded.
Jack Schulze in Little Printer: A portrait in the nude.
[B]izarre, visage-covered garments designed specifically to give Facebook’s facial recognition software the runaround.
“Box” explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression.
3-Sweep: Extracting Editable Objects from a Single Photo. I still have a hard time believing this is real.
Maybe you’ve already seen the Phonebloks concept that’s been making the rounds for the last few days:
While I appreciate the work on a purely conceptual level and for its production values, I found the prevailing assumption that this concept is actually feasible rather depressing. Well, it’s not, as Co.Design helpfully explains. Snip from the article:
Phonebloks appeals to the many facets of the modern ego-id at once: the part of us that wants the universe to be neatly ordered and precisely aligned, the child within us that wants technology to work more like Legos, the guilt that follows from throwing hundreds of dollars of electronics away every year because they are “obsolete.” Phonebloks makes us feel good about technology, not confused, covetous or remorseful. Practicalities aside, it’s easy to see why the Phonebloks concept went viral. But the whole point is that practicalities can’t be put aside. They need to be dealt with and overcome.
Flexpad is a highly flexible display interface. It introduces a novel way of interacting with flexible displays by using detailed deformations. Using a Kinect camera and a projector, Flexpad transforms virtually any sheet of paper or foam into a flexible, highly deformable and spatially aware handheld display.
Ubi Interactive uses a Microsoft Kinect to turn any surface into a multitouch display. Unfortunately only available on Windows.
There’s hardly anything surprising in here, just confirmation of prior hunches. Nevertheless, interesting to see these cultural differences quantifiably analyzed.