Virtual Counterparts of RFIDed Objects

I found a paper written by Kay Romer called Infrasture for Virtual Counterpart of real World Objects which is quite interesting for my thesis. The paper deals with RFID and the relationship between what is tagged and an online presence, which is also what i am trying to achieve by using active RFID tags in my dedicated musical elements. I would like to have small active RFID chips inside tokens that would be exchanged between people to allow a link to a person’s on the go use of another person’s virtual musical gifts.

I’m also looking at the use of RFID and especially am interested in the hacking of it, how a person could perhaps remotely abuse of the system and make anonymous musical donations perhaps.

Wooden keyboard

A screen and keyboard made out of wood!!!

“”People are tired of everything in plastic and want to return to the genuine. Some people would love to have something exclusive and stylish in the office.”

Ok so maybe the reasons that the company gives aren’t exactly convincing but i believe that the white box regime will soon be over mouhahahahha! : )

Via Core 77

Another book to read

Sigh, my life is just about adding more books to a long list which i never seem to get to the end of..

So this is Everyware: the dawning age of Ubiquitous Computing by Adam Greenfield.

A good Boxes and Arrows interview of him and his latest book reveals that this touches exactly on the topics of spimes like Shaping Things the Bruce Sterling book I’m reading at the moment.

This just might shape my life’s work me thinks…

Still not impressed

I’ve always been an avid fan of bitching the iPod, as my thesis’s enemy and now they’ve given me new reasons… I think ill start an iPod rant category for this…

So they come out with the iPod HiFi which includes a “Universal dock” on which you plug your iPod and the added feature of a bloody remote control to control the whole thing. Hello world, here i come with product multiplication…

I would be very impressed if i just needed to walk into my apartment for the sound to transition from my earphones to the HI FI directly… where is my flying car???

More against the iPod

Happy New Year everyone!

Ok so back on track with my thesis at the moment. Ive decided to concentrate on MP3 players as i see the variety of ways in which people are targeted to buy this or that “music box” , which is what it is in a way. Its only a box and is there something more meaningful to be done? Make people care about that object? Can that object become a connector to others, be it virtually or in real life? These are the thoughts im having around this subject at the moment…

And to kick off things i found this Mobile Community Design article on a few things that the iPod is not doing which i will try to adress on my thesis.

“Music is a shared resource. Bands record their own music and then trade it. People lend CDs to other people to listen to for a while. People recommend music to other people. People make bootlegs and then buy the original if they like it. How does the IPod support this? It doesn’t. It puts barriers in the way of it. Ever try finding a song on your IPod using a standard Windows interface? All the music is obfuscated into meaningless numbered folders. Copying music between IPods via a cable (much less wirelessly) isn’t supported. You might say that this is because of copyright issues. Then what about the IPod Photo? I take my own pictures, save them, and then want to share them. I can’t even connect the IPod to a friend’s computer and easily give them a copy of my latest travel photos. It is completely unusable due to the folder structure being used. This isn’t about copyright, it’s about the designers not understanding the social nature of handheld devices that hold personal data. These devices are about social networks and sharing. While we’re on the topic of legal music sharing: why can’t I send a snippet of a song to a friend, or a bookmark to purchase the song on the online music store, or download the song direct and wirelessly to the IPod? That would be visionary.”

A number of design opportunities here for my thesis…:-)

Avoiding interaction with technology…

This Economist article paints a vivid picture of the current situation in Japan where acceptance of technology (in this case robots) leads to maintaining closed any economic or social ties with other countries by providing for a technological solution. The fact is that Japan’s (as everyone else’s) elderly population is growing fast and instead of relying on perhaps foreign qualified workers to help that population in its health needs (which in a way would be admitting to a certain failure on their part) they are investing large amounts of money into the development of robot technology.

“What seems to set Japan apart from other countries is that few Japanese are all that worried about the effects that hordes of robots might have on its citizens. Nobody seems prepared to ask awkward questions about how it might turn out. If this bold social experiment produces lots of isolated people, there will of course be an outlet for their loneliness: they can confide in their robot pets and partners. Only in Japan could this be thought less risky than having a compassionate Filipina drop by for a chat.”

I think this is a distinct example of social circumstances shaped by technology in what i personally consider a very obtuse way…


Hmm, the more i learn the more i love Bruce Sterling…I learnt a new word today: spime, ie the idea of the intelligent device that is also aware of its state (of course this was in the context of object -driven programming but i extrapollated it to the idea of physical objects.

There’s a good book ive been meaning to read called The New Everyday: Views on Ambient Intelligence, which is a collection of essays on intelligent objects. I think there are some interesting concerns when we need to adress technology and embedding it in everyday objects, fabrics and wearables. What i am looking at in a way is the reverse situation where i will be trying to extract the physical qualities of objects to make them come back in high tech interactions.

Greed and product design

Ok so in recent news iPod is getting sued by a group of Nano users on the grounds that it scratches too easily and not only should they get their moeny back but a share of the profits as well.

This 37 signals article goes on to show, by the simple display of comments, how much people expect from that product and how little it delivers. A business class last week in school made me think about the levels of expectancy from the user’s point of view. Generally speaking on white goods or failry low tech objects, we expect 100% and more, at all times, otherwise the object is doomed to be thrown out. In high tech objects, we no longer care what happens to them, you just need to wait a while and a salesperson will sell you a free new phone or the exchange mecanisms are so simple, its not worth even thinking about how crappy taht last model was.

But here, nano owners care enough apparently. Is it because the beloved apple broke its silent promise of luxury and shamlessness by providing users with a low quality object that does not stand the test of a minute’s use?