Enchanted Objects: The next wave of the web

VP Vision Technology at Warby Parker
May. 11, 2011

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Enchanted Objects: The next wave of the web

  1. Enchanted Objects The next wave of the web @DavidRose
  2. What’s next? So, What’s Next? What will be the next wave of the web? Is it really just ithings and apps (apps on top of apps) Not turtles, but apps all the way down?
  3. Disney Arthur C. Clarke said “Any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Magic, or enchantment is right metaphor for the future of computing.
  4. How is magic typically expressed in film and books? It’s embodied. it's embodied in Narnia in Lucy's magical healing potion...
  5. <shoes> ...In Dorothy’s magic teleportation shoes.
  6. Or wonder woman’s magic lasso (a tool to know the truth) Ordinary things become augmented things. Given super-powers. Typically to help the protagonist in a very specific way- to drive the story forward. And usually they are purpose built...
  7. In middle earth, enchantment is found swords that magically know about nearby orcs, in invisibility cloaks (protection), food satchels that never deplete (health), infinitely strong ropes, gazing pools for diving the future (omniscience).
  8. Enchantment creates the right affordances While rain isn't as critical as Orcs, it's still important to be prepared. My last company created an umbrella that received wireless signals from Accuweather to anticipate its need. Magic is a convenient metaphor for the future of connected things Ambient Umbrella because the affordances are there. You understand the object...and this motivates the incremental function.
  9. So,which objects should we enchant? but given all the objects that we surround ourselves with. how do we decide where to start? What should we enchant?
  10. Study the history of the future Here’s that exciting part for you and me: today’s enchanters... We can take a lessons from the history of the future to figure out which enchanted things will succeed or fail. The ones that satisfy primal wishes or fantasies will succeed.
  11. These primal wishes are revealed through narratives that we know and can analyze. It's a psychology problem. Especially for cinderella’s narcissistic step mother. I’m not sure what robots wish for, but I can tell you what human want:
  12. 1 2 3 Omniscience Communication Protection 4 5 6 Health Teleportation Expression We wish for six things that enchanted objects tend to satisfy: For Omniscience, for human connection, for protection, Health (immortality is better), for effortless mobility or teleportation, and for expression (or creative manifestation). These are the killer apps.
  13. Enchanted Objects 1 Omniscience Let’s look at enchanted objects that reveal a specific fantasy. I’ll give a historical precedent, then a recent invention that vibrates on the same frequency. First, the wish to know.
  14. Celtic tribes, known to exist in Britain as early as 2,000 BC, were unified by a priesthood known as Druids. Druids are one of the earliest known peoples to have used crystals in divination. A crystal ball were believed to aid clairvoyance.
  15. The desire to know... in the 1939 film Wizard of Oz the witch uses the same device, a crystal ball, to dispatch her flying monkeys to the forest to find Dorothy.
  16. A single pixel browser 10 years ago I founded a company, Ambient Devices, to make enchanted objects. Our fantasy is about speed. The speed of knowing without thinking.
  17. Orb Our aim was to respect the most scarce resource available. YOUR attention. Something that FaceBook and Twitter seem to ignore.
  18. Knowing, without thinking about knowing Stage 1: Stage 2: Pre-attentive Late Processing Processing • Rapid parallel • Slower serial processing • Feature extraction • Emphasis on symbols • Involuntary • Volitional The big idea was represent data in a way where your mind could attune at a pre-attentive level, without distracting you from other tasks. So you could get a sense for...pollen count, activity conditions, and more.
  19. Fishing The orb is personalized to whatever data-stream matters to you most.
  20. Fishing Skiing forecast where you ski
  21. Fishing Windspeed near your boat
  22. Fishing If the fish are biting
  23. Fishing If you garden needs water
  24. In NC this public display of realtime customer satisfaction feedback is visible to all employees and passers-by in the highway. The best information displays change behavior in positive ways.
  25. Enchanted Objects 2 Communication A second timeless desire is the wish to connect effortlessly with others
  26. Maxwell Smart anticipated wearable computing before cellphones, albeit in a mocking way
  27. Bond’s Pen Dick tracy’s watch In comic books Dick Tracy had an uber-communicator. Hey that’s FaceTime™ on a watch!
  28. The most interesting work in communication is not in wearables, but fixtures. Harry Potter's friend the Weasley's had a FourSquare-like grandfather clock to track the status of their large family.
  29. Presence objects: LumiTouch (from MIT) communicates via squeeze sensors and light Human to human communication is one of the most exiting area to mine for enchanted objects. This enchanted photo frame has squeeze sensors that allow you to Blow a kiss to a loved one.
  30. These presence objects, Hangsters, invented by some of my students at Enchanted Objects MIT signals the availability of friends by varying the height of their avatar on a mobile.
  31. Enchanted Objects 3 Protection The desire for protection and power drives a lot of enchanted legends and role playing games. The most spectacular enchantment insures protection without harm.
  32. post-vietnam there was a particular interest in exploration without desecration. To “boldly go where no man has gone before”, without annihilating the natives. The fantasy then was to set phasers on stun.
  33. This functionality is mirrored in today's taser.
  34. For many super-heros, invisibility insures protection, to lurk in the shadows and see without being seen.
  35. Today you can enchant a plush bear (with a wireless camera) to achieve the same creepy wish.
  36. Enchanted Objects 4 Health Now for health...
  37. Fountain of Youth The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Now it's apparently somewhere in Florida, at least that's what the state's board of tourism would have you believe.
  38. Now we know that most chronic diseases are preventable with healthy behavior. But how do we motivate people to do what's in their own best interest? How we reflect data into everyday objects and rituals to provide effective motivational feedback loops?
  39. z Dramatically improving medication adherence through smart packaging, reminders, reports, and rewards. How is magic typically expressed in film and books? It’s embodied. it's embodied in Narnia in Lucy's magical healing potion...
  40. There are 3.5 billion medication prescriptions made by US doctors every year. And people obey their doctor’s orders to take their medication about 50% of the time!
  41. So I invented a cheap wireless pillcap, and did a deal with AT&T to connect 41 them to the internet via a home health hub, disguised as a nightlight
  42. Every month you and your physician receive a printed progress report. and worked with behavioral economists, pharmacists and doctors to nudge people with reminders, social incentives, auto-refills, and accountability to care givers.
  43. This is what poor-adherence looks like... Each row is person, each column is a day. Red indicates a missed dose. Here’s a snapshot of a couple of months of data from a control group where red means that person missed their dose that day.
  44. This is what adherence looks like with GlowCaps When we turn the services on, people take their meds over 98% of the time! This could save the country about $300B in unneeded medical costs according to the New England Healthcare Institute.
  45. Vitality BlisterPack To support the rest of the world we have developed blister-packed and injectable medication solutions.
  46. Vitality Watch And to create a feedback loop for moderating stress, we are working on a watch that shows your online calendar, and stress.
  47. Soft Scale • Converts ordinary soft bathmat into a weight and BMI scale • Fiber-optic LEDs sewn into the mat display last 2 weeks weight trends against a goal line • Wireless connection to the web permits realtime data analysis and graphing on smart phone. Data must be sensed through everyday objects and displayed in incidental, ambient ways.
  48. Vitality Sticker • Adhere to a water bottle, toothbrush, floss, a musical instrument, cellphone, any object. • Activity is reported in realtime through the hub Adding this band aid with an accelerometer and wireless chip to everyday objects allows you to track their use.
  49. Spirometer Kazoo • Makes spirometry fun using sound and projection • Spirograph projection shows visual feedback to anticipate an asthma attack • Wireless connection to the web permits realtime data analysis and graphing on smart phone. There is a big design opportunity in connected health to bring consumer aesthetics to medicalized tools. A kazoo for asthmatics test lung functionality while projecting a spirograph on the wall.
  50. Pepper projector • Dispenses salt and grinds pepper • 360 degree camera uploads images to offshore nutritionist for realtime analysis • Mini-projector displays information adjacent to each item: calories against a budget, ecological footprint, transportation modality. • How is magic typically expressed in film and books? It’s embodied. it's Press the “i” for more information. embodied in Narnia in Lucy's magical healing potion...
  51. Enchanted Objects 5 Teleportation We all want to fly.
  52. effortless mobility has been a fantasy across cultures
  53. Jetson In the 1950s, Ford Motor Company performed a serious feasibility study for a flying car product. They concluded that such a product was technically feasible, economically manufacturable, and had significant realistic markets.
  54. A Boston startup Terrafugia is pursing the same dream today
  55. For most of us, effortless travel more achievable than flying carpets or cars. Simply knowing the wait-time for public transportation would decrease pan and dramatically increase ridership.
  56. Ambient Bus Pole This bus pole design is essentially a giant fill-bar, viewable from about a block away. Long viewing distance is critical to let people stop into nearby stores to take advantage of waiting time. ambient
  57. Enchanted Objects 6 Expression Maslow called the top of his hierarchy self actualization, or creative manifestation
  58. The most common fantasy about robots, is they will take away the jobs that are dangerous, dirty and drudgery so we have the leisure time required to create.
  59. The Roomba may aspire to be your sorcerers apprentice, but I still find myself cleaning up after the kids.
  60. Seymour Papert called LEGOs a type of Brickolage. They allow your to Mindstorms quickly build what you imagine. I worked on the LEGO Mindstorms robot which allows you to program behaviors that you imagine.
  61. Another colleague from MIT is working on enchanted tangible bricks that you may have seen in another TED talk.
  62. IO Brush At the Tangible media group at MIT, there are interfaces invented to make creation easier. This is a modern version of paint-by-number.
  63. Guitar Hero Enchanted instruments like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, also invented at MIT, invert the learning curve. You can start performing at near- mastery and work your way up to learning a real guitar. What a delightful way to enjoy music and learn to play.
  64. Enchanted Objects 1 2 3 Omniscience Communication Protection 4 of fantasies and examples of enchanted objects that So, six categories 5 6 Health Teleportation Expression satisfy those timeless wishes for omniscience, for connection, for protection and immortality, for teleportation, and for creative expression. What does this mean for you, now?
  65. Use Enchanted Objects for: * UX simplicity * glanceability * brand presence If you designing a software or experience designer, you need to leverage enchanted objects. For simplicity, for glanceabilty, and for presence in people's lives.
  66. Objects are avatars for services If you are an object designer, realize that your objects are just avatars to a layer of rich services. I recommend this compelling book by my friend Mike Kuniavsky. It contains many examples of smart things and the service layers they support.
  67. levels of enchantment story-ification Here’s your opportunity to level up. Consider a simple scale. You could enchant it in stages: gamification Augmentation: (memory, communication, other services) socialization Personalization: (re)Configuration, preferences Socialization: tweet Game-ification: point system personalization Story-ification: embedding the object in a larger narrative augmentation It's beyond bionic. Lighter, cheaper, faster, thinner is good, but enchantment takes you through a another door.
  68. So,which objects should we enchant? Whats next? What’s next is when the inanimate becomes animate. When ordinary things become extraordinary, and satisfy the fantasies that we all share..that we’ve always shared.
  69. Enchanted Objects @DavidRose Thank you!