Other Research and Projects

16 Feb

A large amount of research and work is being done to bring technology and information to people when and where they want it. A project conducted by Tatsuya Narita called Tenkipan – Toaster to Understand Today’s Weather. The project aims at turning everyday objects into information carriers. A toaster receives weather forecasts via Yahoo RSS feeds and bakes a symbol representing the forecast onto bread (Fig. 1). From this project I started investigating ways of providing information to people and ways of using everyday objects as information devices (Leopoidseder, Stocker, & Schöpf, 2009).

Figure 1. Shows a symbol of an umbrella baked onto a slice of toast.

Live wire is a project developed by Natalie Jeremijenko while working at Xerox PARC. A length of plastic cord that hangs from the ceiling is controlled by a motor. The motor is connected to the area Ethernet network. Each bit of information flowing through the network causes the motor to turn. As the motor turns the wire connected to it is visible and audible from the nearby offices. This project demonstrates how ambient information can be provided to people without being obtrusive.

In 1992 Durrell Bishop developed the Marble Answering Machine at the Royal College of Art, London. This project is an example of how physical everyday objects can be used to represent digital information within the domestic environment. The answering machine uses marbles to represent the amount of voice messages left on the phone. Bishops prototype allows the user to view how many messages are present at a glance and physically pick the marbles up and drop them into an indentation to play the corresponding voice message or dial the caller back (Ishii & Ullmer, 1997).

Target Interactive Breezeway is an installation created by Cameron McNall and Damon Seeley on top of the Rockefefeller Center, New York. Visitors implicitly interact with the installation as they walk around the room. 18, 000 RGB LEDs programmed to track their movement produce a range of ambient light patterns and effects while following the visitor (Bullivant, 2007).

Figure 2. Visitors interacting with the Target Interactive Breezeway Installation.

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