Do we fail to see the extent of what communication is / has become?
Here are 10 projects that should / hopefully would change / broaden our idea of what communication is:
1. The Copenhagen wheel
The Copenhagen wheel is a perfectly designed combination of a lot of separate ideas, that collectively demonstrates the potential in modern communication. It offers both immediate interest and value through personal benefits in the context where it is used, but also ads a layer of communal value – and taking us one step further in creating the connected cities of the future. It’s an exceptionally complicated idea made into something people could understand and want immediately.
2. Life of George
LoG is a small initiative exploring the interface between technology and reality. It has been extremely well concepted and designed. This might not be an eye-opening revolution, but it is a very well thought through commercial mass-produced product. It has been through all the barriers and ended up as something that could easily, and hopefully, be adopted by the mass (iPhone-owning) market.
Sniff is only a prototype, but demonstrates with beauty the life an inanimate object can have as soon as it takes on some form of well designed behavior. There has been digital technology inside toys for tens and tens of years, but Sniff approaches the idea of what technology is, not what it outputs.
4. Nokia Push Snowboarding
The way the technology has been implemented into the culture of the sport it is trying to augment is the most impressive feet. Nokia and Burton have pushed the snowboarding culture first – and then designed itself to it – which could not be said for a lot of other commercial technology…
5. Nest the learning thermostat
The objects learns by recording our behavior – and calculating something on top of that recording. Objects are still dumb, but in a very intelligent way. The Nest is an example of everyday appliances becoming a second brain, and a demonstration of how digital objects have gone from furniture you hide away in small offices upstairs to objects you display and want to talk about.
6. Up by Jawbone
How does a wristband with no screen and no sound communicate with its carrier? A vibration in itself says nothing, the interesting thing is how we learn what the vibration means in different contexts. This is a perfect example of the rich unexpectedness of communication – the one without the spoken/written language – and how quickly we adopt and learn new forms of communication.
Zeebox is one of several new products being launched to augment the TV experience. Behind it lies the concept of increasing the value of something local by connecting it to the rest of the world – through a parallel system. In this case the linear TV experience. Now any idiot could do that, but it is the tools by which they try to achieve the connection which is brilliant. Zeebox is a first generation concept in this arena, but demonstrates the potential of what is to come.
Ideas don’t have to be big and shiny, they can be small and solve minute problems. It’s the aesthetic of the idea that is the important thing: How does the mechanic of such a small thing change the dynamic of something bigger… Now, if they only could connect it to the Internet…
9. The Wattson
The Wattson gives us access to things that previously where invisible and not present in our consciousness. Just because we can’t see things and talk about them doesn’t mean they aren’t important. The Wattson gives us access to a layer of reality that we haven’t been able to see before but which is highly real and important.
10. Nokia kinect
Now the first nine examples have been impressive, most of them include sensors and things which gives us access to a part of reality that we haven’t explored before. But it doesn’t stop with the invisible data… The next generation handsets gives us access to the layer of communication that emerges as objects becomes haptic and kinetic, opening a whole new world of interaction and behavior, through the sensitivity and richness of touch and force.