The Human-World Interface
People are fantastic synthesizers. We take a bunch of signals from thousands of sensors, probably millions of sensors, vision, sound, touch, taste, smell, gravitational and inertial information, temperature, even humidity and static charge, and build a model of the world in our brains based on it. But that "reality" is only a model. It's as real as things get for us, sure, but there is so much more information in the world waiting to be incorporated into that model. And designers have the opportunity to make the sensors and output devices that help us get at it.
Many Working As One
Schooling fish, bacterial colonies, flocking birds, even aspen groves. All of these natural networks are robust because they spread the load of work between a number of participants. Human networks have come into their own in recent years, with intra and extra nets for businesses, cellphone communications, and other simple connective technologies. But the real power of networks will come as we move toward even less-designed, more ad-hock networking which can evolve, like natural systems, into an implementation that best matches the need.
Resurrection, Teleportation, And Cloning For Pianists
Artistic interpretation is a strange thing. Without even touching on flashpoints like Jackson Pollock or Andy Warhol, the idea that a performance of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonatta by Mei-Ting Sun (Chopin Award Winning Piano Genius) is better than the same piece performed by, say Dominic Muren (10 years of piano and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt not-so-genius) is interesting. Not that it isn't true; Obviously he could beat any one of us senseless with a Steinway. But there is something fleeting and hard to reproduce in the work of a true master. Something which is valued very much by connoisseurs of that art. Something which technology, at least in some cases, is close to capturing.
Time Is What You Make It
For as long as the idea of time has existed, authors, politicians, lovers, teachers, rich, poor, children, men, and women have lamented it's unfortunate one-way nature. Our entire society structure -- the legal system, insurance business, photography business, everything -- is built around a one-way flow of time. But recent technology is challenging that iron-clad truth. Hang on to your watches.
Sentient Vogue: Fashion Needs A Makeover
We live in a world of fashion. Despite the way it generates waste, demands unfair working conditions from whole countries of people, and breeds a user who is never satisfied with anything, there is something in our human nature which has driven us toward this end. And designers are guiltier than most of fueling this fire, at least partially because it lets us design more, different, novel things every year than if society preferred the "old reliables". But there is no reason that fashion must cause these problems. With all our modern information technologies, onboard processing, and actuator options, we can have a new form of fashion. Imagine a new Sentient Vogue: a product which is designed once, and then evolves into each new style.
Products With Cells
There has been quite the buzz building in the consumer electronics media over the last few weeks. It's all over the little chip pictured above. This little guy is called the Cell, and it's taken three leading electronics companies the last few years to create it. Obviously, it looks pretty, and it's very powerful, but that's not what's got everyone's knickers in a twist. The real kicker is that these processors are going to be what finally turns our kitchens, cars, cellphones, and videogame systems into supercomputing crazies... Or at least that's what they claim.
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Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team